Susan Danis
Susan Danis. Courtesy La Jolla Music Society

The new CEO of the La Jolla Music Society has turned down the position and will return to the Florida Grand Opera just weeks before she was scheduled to start.

The music society said Wednesday that Susan T. Danis will rescind her acceptance of the offer and remain in her position as CEO of the Florida opera.

The surprise development, which comes barely six months before the Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center is due to open in La Jolla, was attributed to a defamatory letter that has since been discredited.

The letter was sent by a disgruntled ex-employee, Graham Fandrei, under an assumed name and was later retracted, according to the music society.

“I am appreciative of the support I received from FGO as I responded to, and discredited, the information contained in the Fandrei letter. This action by Mr. Fandrei has been deeply affecting me. Given the support I received during this time from FGO, I have withdrawn my application for the position of president and CEO of the La Jolla Music Society,” Danis said.

Danis was scheduled to begin work in La Jolla on Oct. 1, but the music society said it will now resume its search for a new CEO.

“LJMS is pleased that this matter has been resolved and wishes FGO and Ms. Danis continued success,” said music society Chair Katherine Chapin. “As the search for our new CEO and president resumes, David Kitto will continue as the interim president of LJMS.”

Danis and the two arts organizations said there would be no further comment on the matter.

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.