More than three years ago, Melissa Hogan approached Dave Ramsey and two members of his board with evidence her husband—well-known Ramsey personality Chris Hogan—was having adulterous affairs.
“It was like being emotionally raped,” Melissa recounted in a recent Untangled Faith podcast with Amy Fritz. Melissa says Ramsey and his board members “were very hostile” towards her. “And it was basically, ‘What other false accusations do you have?’”
Now, The Roys Report has obtained exclusive audio in which the two Ramsey board members admit they knew at the time of their 2018 meeting with Melissa that Chris Hogan was guilty of adultery.
The audio is from another meeting former Ramsey software developer Dan Watt had with Ramsey Operational Board Members Jack Galloway and Mike Finney on May 18, 2020.
Watt told The Roys Report that he had requested this meeting after reading documents from Chris and Melissa Hogan’s 2019 divorce in which Hogan admits to multiple adulterous affairs. This admission seemed to contradict the narrative Ramsey had been telling staff for more than a year, Watt said.
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Hogan resigned from Ramsey Solutions in May 2021 for “some things personally that are not in line with Ramsey Solutions.”
But for three years, while Ramsey’s board was reportedly aware of his adultery, Hogan remained a highly celebrated employee. This, despite the company’s highly touted “righteous living” code, requiring employees to adhere to strict moral standards.
On the recording, Finney admits Ramsey’s board knew in 2018 that Chris Hogan “had intercourse with a former team member over 10 years ago.”
“We wrestled with that a lot,” Finney says. “We said . . . ‘What do you do with some information you find out like 10 or 12 years later?’”
But Finney also admits the board was told in the 2018 meeting with Melissa and her pastor about a “more recent thing” between Chris Hogan and another woman.
This relationship reportedly stopped short of intercourse. As a result, Finney says the board decided the recent affair was not grounds for termination.
“We had to make a decision,” Finney explains.“We had to say, ‘Is that grounds?’ And we all kind of said, ‘It’s certainly grounds for divorce.’ But what we . . . kind of held to is intercourse. And honestly, I don’t even know if we’ve ever had another situation where we had to make a call like that.”
On the recording, Galloway agrees, saying, “As far as firing people here, we’ve had everything from emotional affairs that were, they’d never kissed—to making out, but their clothes were on—to pornography that feels almost just like there’s this disgusting spectrum of things. And we had never had to decide what line are we going to draw on a team member on that, on sex.”
Julie Roys · Ramsey Board Members Admit They Knew of Hogan’s Adultery
The Roys Report reached out to Ramsey Solutions, requesting interviews with Galloway, Finney, and Dave Ramsey, but did not receive a reply.
Double standard & false narrative?
Ramsey Solutions is known as a Christian-owned company. And Ramsey has publicly stated, “We have a moral code of conduct at our office. I fire people if they have extramarital affairs.”
Similarly, in his book, EntreLeadership, Ramsey writes that he “won’t let a team member stay if they decide to have an affair. If their spouse can’t trust them, neither can I.”
Currently, the company is facing a lawsuit for firing an employee for being pregnant and not married. Court filings in that case show Ramsey Solutions has also fired or forced the resignations of at least 12 other employees for having sex before marriage.
Yet, just weeks after the December 2018 meeting in which Melissa Hogan told Ramsey and his board about her husband’s adultery, Ramsey Solutions supported Chris Hogan’s nationwide tour to promote his book, Everyday Millionaires.
The following month, in February 2019, Dave Ramsey announced to staff in a recorded devotional meeting that Hogan would be taking a 30-day sabbatical. Ramsey said the reason for the sabbatical was that Hogan was like a “thoroughbred” and doesn’t have an “off button.”
“So, nothing earth-shattering or evil or something like that,” Ramsey told staff. “But . . . you don’t kill a thoroughbred just ‘cause they don’t have an off button.”
Ramsey added that after the sabbatical, “We’ll come back around with a little late celebration on Everyday Millionaires being number one and all the wonderful work (Hogan’s) done and how great a job he did on that tour.”
However, the real reason for the sabbatical seems to be that Chris Hogan’s marriage was falling apart due to his adultery.
Finney and Galloway explain on the recording with Watt that one reason Ramsey Solutions didn’t fire Chris Hogan after their December 2018 meeting with Melissa is because Melissa expressed a desire to save the marriage. As a result, the company devised a “reconciliation plan.”
According to Melissa Hogan, the plan required that the Hogans go to marriage counseling together, and that their therapist and elders submit reports to Ramsey’s board.
Finney and Galloway say on the recording that the plan “quickly deteriorated.”
On May 6, 2019, Ramsey announced to his entire staff in what’s become known as his “Got Your Six” talk that Chris Hogan “is going through a really nasty divorce.”
Ramsey then gives his account of the meeting several months earlier with Melissa and his two board members. According to Ramsey, Melissa came into his office “unannounced,” “demanded very angrily” to see Ramsey, and accused “Chris of doing all kinds of things.”
Ramsey then explains that leaders from the Hogans’ church joined the meeting, “And suffice it to say, there are no angels in this story as there usually aren’t . . .” He adds that the situation was “messy” and that there “weren’t clear lines.”
“If there was a clear line,” he says, “we would have taken the hit and canceled the book tour . . . and Chris wouldn’t be here anymore. And, so we wrestled with facts and pushed rumor and innuendo to the side, as best we could do in that situation, made a decision, said, ‘Okay, Chris is going on book tour. When he comes homes, he’s going on a sabbatical . . .’”
Melissa Hogan challenges Ramsey’s account
In the Untangled Faith podcast, Melissa Hogan denies she demanded angrily to see Ramsey in December 2018. She also says she gave Ramsey and his board “lots of documentation and recordings,” adding, “I was not in any way engaging in hyperbole or drama.”
She also takes exception to Ramsey’s characterization that there were “no angels” in the situation.
“I don’t claim that I was perfect in anything,” Melissa said, “but I acted with integrity in my marriage.”
Melissa adds that in the meeting, Ramsey and his board members “gaslit” her and accused her of lying and making false accusations.
“It was so traumatizing to me,” Melissa said. “I can’t even . . . describe how horrible that—it was about 30 minutes, at least from my memory—it was like being emotionally raped. And I don’t use that description lightly.”
Two weeks after Ramsey’s “Got Your Six” talk, several Ramsey executives appeared at a hearing in the Hogans’ divorce case to support Chris Hogan’s request to have a gag order placed on the proceedings.
Melissa Hogan told The Roys Report that those executives were Suzanne Simms and Jeremy Breland, who also serve on Ramsey’s Operational Board, and Senior Executive Vice President of Ramsey+ Brian Williams.
According to a transcript of the hearing, Hogan’s lawyer, John Hollins, said his client and Ramsey Solutions wanted the gag order because they were concerned about a “concerted effort” to get Hogan fired. Hollins said anonymous emails were being sent to Ramsey’s office, threatening to go public “unless you do the right thing.”
The judge granted the gag order, and the proceedings were sealed until the Hogans’ divorce was finalized in December 2019.
In now-public divorce documents, Chris Hogan admits to adultery with multiple women during his marriage, including a former Ramsey employee and Hogan’s sister-in-law.
Hogan denies ever lying to his employer about his affairs in the documents. He also states that he received referrals to divorce attorneys from Ramsey Solutions and/or Ramsey Solutions “agents or representatives.”
As a result of his meeting with Galloway and Finney in 2020, Dan Watt resigned from Ramsey Solutions.
In the meeting, Watt states, “I hate to leave the place that I care so much about. But you know, (my wife and I) prayed about this for weeks and . . . I can’t associate with that.” He adds, “This was big enough to push me way over the line.”
31 thoughts on “Exclusive: Audio Shows Dave Ramsey’s Board Knowingly Kept Adulterous Personality on Staff”
Seems like women who have to wade into a enabling environment to make a disclosure like need to take a lawyer as a witness to what happens. The proficiency of the lies Ramsey told are very disappointing. If a wife of an Ramsey employee cant trust him with her reputation, I cant trust him with my money.
It sounds like the former Mrs. Hogan was characterized as partially responsible for her ex-husbands infidelities. Reading between the lines, it seems likely the “shared responsibility” lie was employed.
The disingenuous way in which this was handled appears remarkably cold-blooded. I guess the cost-benefit analysis on old adultery came with a price tag they were more than willing for her to pay given that she was “angry” and “demanding” (their words).
If spouses could just loosen up on their expectations of fidelity, adulterers wouldn’t have to gaslight them. It’s those pesky vows and the 7th commandment spoiling things for so many people. God just doesn’t understand what an adulterer goes through in order to make so many horrible, sinful decisions. Unless they repent, one thing most of them will never be accused of is the sin of empathy.
Well said Peter, very very well said! Looks like the good old boys network is alive and kicking in the evangelical church. No surprise there. However, it actually brings tears to my eyes to see the way women are kicked to the curb by the likes of the evangelical powers that be. Certainly Ramsey’s outfit is a perfect example of this and many many others I could fill this post with. When our we finally going to wake up and love our wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her?
Come on, Peter! These guys are “thoroughbreds.” You can’t restrain these elite, high performers by expecting them to live by the mundane standards as us peons! They’re higher life forms, the next link in the evolutionary ladder. We’re just lucky we get to live and walk among them.
It’s really beyond parody, isn’t it? Who ARE these people?
You know if we were talking about Secretariat or Seattle Slew, I’d get the “thoroughbred” reference. The way he used it is unbelievably crass.
Definitely sounds like “The Shared Responsibility Lie” to me, too. Terrible and ungodly move on Ramsey’s part!
Each person is responsible for their own conduct. Unfortunately there are only a few who truly own up to what they have done. Now, if a wife for instance cuts her husband off sexually it could be said she made his decision easier. But in the end he is the one who must stand before the Lord on this matter.
Well this has got to be the least surprising story of 2022 thus far.
History will not be kind to Dave.
Love above comments!
I mean, doesn’t it make financial sense to let the adulterer go on the big tour?
Why would Dave cut off that cash cow just because there was sexual immorality… especially if he can conceivably argue that one of the affairs stopped short of intercourse.
Rationalization with a capital R!!!
“According to Melissa Hogan, the plan required that the Hogans go to marriage counseling together, and that their therapist and elders submit reports to Ramsey’s board.”
The therapist was required to report to Ramsey’s board?! I cannot believe that any therapist with integrity would agree to this condition.
I don’t think it means all of the detailed notes, which would violate confidentiality, just some kind of professional verification Chris Hogan was working on his moral failures in good faith (as the article states, the counseling didn’t last). I imagine a church might ask that a therapist provide the same for the member to eventually be restored to fellowship.
But it’s all bizarre because this is the role of a church, not an employer. Unfortunately, like an unhealthy church, Ramsey applied different standards to the leadership than to the rank and file.
Listen to him speak some time and he makes it clear: the rich have earned their special treatment.
Employer as moral police? I don’t get it. I like a lot about the US employment law, but I prefer the Australian in this instance, where an employer cannot terminate someone for a non-illegal moral failing, even on a presumptive basis. As it should be. IMO.
David, I don’t get it either. Appears that the company endeavors to be a for-profit business, a parachurch ministry, and a church. Simultaneously. Predictable result are a lack of boundaries and breaches of appropriate limits (with “employer as moral police” providing one example).
Part of me want to say “amen” to not being allowed to terminate someone for a non-illegal moral failing as you suggest. Yet, when a company says its business model is founded upon Christian principles and one of the top two leading voices has adultery come out into the open, what should the business do? Allowing adulterous behavior to go unchecked doesn’t seem like an option. Plus, do we really want to cede decisions on morality to the gov’t?
In the end, it’s probably grass roots pressure that can help bring about change Ramsey’s company. It’s pressure that comes from within the company as well as stories like this one above, that shine a light on the immorality of selectively applying Christian principles of holiness to the average worker while ignoring the grievous sins of those in higher up positions.
I just don’t trust a man who claims to be pro-life but maintains a policy of firing women for getting pregnant before marriage. That’s either evil or stupid.
I wonder how he feels about those who inherited their wealth. What about lottery winners? What was earned in either situation?
They got around that by saying Melissa had to give the report of their counseling sessions, not the therapist. Reason she felt so ganged up on. Why wouldn’t Chris be the one to give the reports?? They were going to counseling because of HIS adultery, not hers.
Marital counseling plan? A guy has to get marital counseling to know that he’s not supposed to fool around with someone who is not his wife?
Yikes. God heal this woman.
When so much money is one the line 🙄
The article says that a 2018 meeting occurred, that adultery had happened physically ten years prior, that an emotional relationship had happened since then, yet without physical intercourse, and that the wife wanted to save the marriage. Clergy was present and a plan put together. That plan deteriorated, a divorce ensued, and a gag order was put in place. It seems that there was no cover up, considering other employees had been fired for moral failures. It seems that the criticism is towards leadership, who made decisions and took actions that others had a judgment about. What else could be expected- perfection? I think articles like this are presenting the idea that “church done right” is smooth and without disagreement. It has been a long time since everyone was gathered in the upper room. I find the willingness to criticize encouraged here.
It seems you missed the part where Ramsey and his board members reportedly accused an innocent wife of lying, gaslit her, and then pressured her to accept a “reconciliation plan” that violated her boundaries. Then, when that plan broke down, Ramsey forwarded a false narrative, and his board members lobbied for a gag order, presumably so the false narrative wouldn’t be contradicted. Also, there’s no indication the more recent affair was merely emotional. There are a lot of physical lines that can be crossed short of intercourse.
Do you really find Ramsey and his board’s actions merely falling short of “perfection”?
When you call people you don’t know “stupid” over the airwaves and call one of your inside people who was an adulterer a “thoroughbred without an off button”, what credibility do you have?
We all make stupid financial mistakes. We don’t all commit adultery. God divorced Israel for her spiritual adultery, not for financial blunders. “Thou shalt not make stupid financial mistakes!” is not one of the ten commandments. So how does God depict adultery versus fiscal incompetence? Which is “stupider” or more foolish? Shouldn’t these people know the difference?
You said the recent affair was an emotional affair. The board members in the clip are talking about something that they say is grounds for divorce but short of intercourse…and then continue to mention intercourse. So what could have happened?
As the podcaster (the one whose husband quit Ramsey Solutions and then she did a 8 or so podcasts on this issue on “Untangled Faith” along with Melissa Hogan) said on twitter, “since it was oral sex, they decided it didn’t rise to a fireable offense.”
@ Brent Hinkle
Well, at least they seem to know what they’re talking about regarding what constitutes sexual activity. Jesus said our thoughts can condemn us, but they obviously give quite a bit more latitude. You can go even farther according to them and still not have crossed the line that would violate their morality code, much less bump into the 7th commandment
I guess they use a sliding scale that is weighted depending on proximity of body parts to other parts. The closer you get to knowing someone in the Biblical sense, then the bright line of clarity suddenly becomes visible. Where had it been all this time? Once you actually do know someone Biblically, now you can be fired. How progressive of them.
It sounds to me like Ramsey solutions has a bunch of fallible, sinful people. You know, like the entire world.
More to the point, it sounds to me like people at the top had become very close to Chris and when accusations were made, they wanted to believe the best about their friend, so the rationalized it in their minds. Eventually the evidence of Chris’s character failings was too much to ignore.
I’ve been there myself. I had a dear friend who is now in Leavenworth prison for child rape. I didn’t want to believe it at first. It took awhile to wrap my head around it. How did this man I knew to be a man of God, do something so heinous.
The simpler explanation is they chose to deny the allegations because of money and power. Plus, his job title was ‘Ramsey Personality.’ That says a lot about Dave himself.
Absolutely. There’s a mess of pottage in there somewhere that evidently eclipses God’s name, honor, and glory. Now they’ve given the world a reason to speak poorly of Christ and the church.
When those who name the name of Christ fail in this regard and cloak their failure with verbal sleight of hand, they’re tacitly approving of the sin that was committed whether they think so or not.
People definitely hold those who stand publicly for faith-based beliefs to high accountability. No one is perfect, but why is this such an issue among religious based organizations. The president of Kettering Miamisburg has had years of infidelity with many sexual relationships yet he continues to be president and an elder in church and public representation in his community as a faith/based executive. How many men in the large organization just look the other way? Step down and live the way you like. It places women who work with you in a very difficult position when it’s a man of influence and power.
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