Business Briefs: Chattanooga tow-truck company gets one month suspension

Tow truck / Getty Images/iStockphoto/Cliffsman

A Chattanooga tow-truck company Thursday had its permit to answer police calls in the city suspended for a month after it failed to provide a background check on a driver who had a medical emergency due to an opioid overdose.

The Chattanooga Beer and Wrecker Board suspended the permit of S&S Towing. Chattanooga police said that on Oct. 19, it received seven calls from citizens about a wrecker weaving on Highway 58 near Champion Road. Police said the wrecker almost hit three vehicles.

Police said that after the tow truck was stopped, it was determined the driver was suffering the effects of an opioid overdose and that three hits of Narcan was given the man. Police said they also found a bag of methamphetamine in the truck.

Scott Summey of the tow-truck company said the man had worked for him in Florida. He said that while the man was operating the truck without a background truck, the driver wasn't on a call.

The board said S&S Towing can continue to answer private calls.

Google investigates sexual misconduct

The board at Google parent Alphabet is investigating claims of sexual misconduct made against executives and how the company handled them.

Multiple reports say the company has hired an outside firm to examine how its executives handled claims of sexual misconduct.

The investigation follows lawsuits brought by shareholders after reports of sexual harassment at Google received national attention last year.

Thousands of Google employees walked out of work last fall to protest the company's handling of sexual misconduct claims and payouts. The New York Times last year revealed that Android creator Andy Rubin received $90 million in severance after several employees filed misconduct allegations against him.

Google said in a statement that Alphabet's board has formed a committee to consider claims made in the lawsuits.

Gap CEO quits amid sales drop

Gap's board announced that CEO Art Peck is stepping down as the company continues to struggle to turn around a long-standing sales slump.

The San Francisco-based retailer also said late Thursday that it cut its earnings outlook for the year as sales at the Gap, Banana Republic and Old Navy fell in the most recent quarter.

Peck, who joined the company in 2005 and became CEO in 2015, will depart from the company after a brief transition. He will also step down from the board.

Effective immediately, Robert J. Fisher, the company's current non-executive chairman of the board, will serve as president and CEO on an interim basis. Fisher is the son of Gap Inc.'s co-founders Donald and Doris F. Fisher.

"As the board evaluates potential successors, our focus will be on strong leadership candidates with operational excellence to drive greater efficiency, speed and profitability," Fisher said in a statement.

Consumer debt increases 2.8%

Consumer borrowing rose in September at a modest pace, driven by more student and auto loans, though a category that mostly includes credit cards fell for the second straight month.

The Federal Reserve said Thursday that overall consumer borrowing increased 2.8% to $4.15 trillion. A category that covers student and auto loans rose 4.2%, while credit card debt fell 1.2%.

Americans are spending at a solid pace but in recent months have relied less on borrowing. Steady, if modest, income growth has enabled consumers to shop more while also stepping up saving. A separate government report last week showed that spending rose in September, but incomes increased more, lifting the savings rate to 8.3%, the highest in six months.