PHOENIX — Mike Gilliland, the founder and chief executive officer of Sunflower Farmers Markets, was arrested in an undercover child-prostitution sting here and has resigned, according to reports.
Gilliland, who also was a founder of Wild Oats Markets, was one of eight men arrested in the police sting. He was accused of agreeing to pay an underage girl for sex, the reports said.
In a statement quoted by multiple media sources, Sunflower said he has resigned as CEO and from the company's board of directors.
"Sunflower appreciates the respect that Mr. Gilliland has shown for the company by his action, so that his personal affairs will not affect the company," Chris Sherrell, president and chief operating officer, said in the statement. Sherrell was named acting CEO.