Miss America's top tier resigns amid dust-up over crude emails

The top ranks of the Miss America Organization reportedly experienced a shakeup on Saturday, with the chief executive, chief operating officer and board chair all said to have resigned amid an email scandal.

The exits of CEO Sam Haskell, COO and President Josh Randle and board chair Lynn Weidner were reported by The Huffington Post following the outlet's expose earlier this week detailing vulgar emails mostly written by Haskell.

Dan Myers, who took on the role as interim chairman of the board, officially announced two of the resignations a day after dozens of former Miss America competitors signed a petition calling on the group's leadership to step down.

In a statement released Saturday, the organization said it had "accepted the resignation" of Haskell, effective immediately, and Weidner, who "has agreed to remain on the board for up to 90 days to facilitate a smooth transition for the MAO to new leadership."

"The Board thanks Lynn and Sam for many years of tireless work for, and significant financial support to, both the Miss America Organization and thousands of young women who received millions of dollars of educational scholarships from the organization as a direct result of their efforts."

Randle was not mentioned in the statement.

In the emails, Haskell referred to the pageant's previous winners with a vulgar term for female genitalia. In another email, the disgraced CEO said he wished a particular Miss America had died.

The organization suspended Haskell indefinitely Friday, a day after the emails were leaked. Tammy Haddad, a Miss America board member, resigned following the leaks after an email written by her called some former Miss Americas “a pile of malcontents and has-beens who blame the program for not getting them where they think they can go.”


The leaks also showed an email chain that included Haddad, Haskell, Randle and Weidner that appeared to show them mocking the weight of 2013 Miss America winner Mallory Hagan.

The email had pictures of Hagan and three other former Miss Americas.

Haskell wrote: “OMG she (Mallory Hagan) is huge ... and gross …why does he want that?” Haskell was referring to Hagan’s boyfriend at the time who was an employee of Haskell’s.

Haskell sent the email to Randle and wrote: “Look at MH (Mallory Hagan) in this photo ... OMG ... Why does he want that?”


Randle replied: “She’s a healthy one!! Hahaha.”

FOX Business’ Trish Regan, who was crowned Miss New Hampshire in 1993, called the comments “heartbreaking.”

“It is not OK for anyone to talk about women like these people were talking about them -- the very women that they are supposed to be supporting,” Regan said during her show “The Intelligence Report” on Friday.

The Miss America Organization announced it would be conducting “an in-depth investigation into alleged inappropriate communications and the nature in which they were obtained.” It was not immediately clear if Randle was being investigated.

Fox News' Elizabeth Zwirz and The Associated Press contributed to this report.