Sterling Brinkley resigns as Friedman’s executive officer

Friedman’s Inc said Tuesday that Sterling Brinkley has resigned his positions as an executive officer and as a member of Friedman’s Inc. Board of Directors. Brinkley will assume the position of interim Chief Executive Officer of Crescent Jewelers, Friedman’s west coast affiliate, and will continue to serve on Crescent’s Board of Directors.

“I am proud of my long association with Friedman’s,” Brinkley said in a statement. “It is a fine company with many talented people and a strong market position. I am now looking forward to focusing my full attention and efforts on managing Crescent until the Crescent board selects a new chief executive officer.”

Robert Cruickshank, Friedman’s non-executive chairman, said in the same statement, “We appreciate Sterling’s many contributions to Friedman’s and we wish him well at Crescent and in all of his future endeavors.”

It is still another in a series of personnel moves that Friedman’s has made since the company revealed that that it is being investigated by the U.S. Justice Dept. and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The company also underwent its own internal audit. The initial findings of the reviews caused the company’s stock price to plunge and resulted in multiple class-action lawsuits against the company by shareholders.

Friedman’s Inc. is a leading specialty retailer of fine jewelry based in Savannah, Georgia. The Company is the leading operator of fine jewelry stores located in power strip centers. The operates 710 stores in 20 states, of which 482 were located in power strip centers and 228 were located in regional malls.

Crescent Jewelers, the company’s west coast affiliate, operates 179 stores in six western states, 102 of which were located in regional malls and 77 of which were located in power strip centers.

On a combined basis, Friedman’s and Crescent operate 889 stores in 25 states of which 559 were located in power strip centers and 330 were located in regional malls.