COMPROMISE ON SECRETARY OFFICE
Don Schultz and the Executive Board majority have agreed to a compromise regarding the office of USCF Secretary. Schultz will resign this position, Glen Petersen and Peter Tamburro will be in charge of running the Executive Board election, and the Board will not name a replacement Secretary until after the election results have been officially reported.
Here is an email from Schultz, including the above proposal.
The vote to remove someone from office is a big step and if it passes I will become the first person in the history of the USCF to have that action taken against them. We will be establishing precedent. So I have some questions:
1) Will it be in open session? I request that the teleconference for purposes of removing me as Secretary be done in open session.
2) Will due process be followed? The Microsoft Encarta Dictionary definition of due process is: “Fundamental principles of justice as opposed to a specific rule of law.” One example, will all charges against me be stated sufficiently before the day of the teleconference so that I will have sufficient time to prepare my defense?
3) Will I be allowed to present witnesses in my defense and to substantiate my statements and possibly refute statements made by teleconference participants against me?
4) I must point out that all of the Board Members but me are supporting four candidates and I support four different candidates. Will those of you who are candidates be voting on this matter? If so, for the record I object to that being allowed as there will be a perception of conflict of interest whether true or not. I ask that you notify me ahead of time what you plan to do. Furthermore, as part of treating all candidates equally, I will in the next few days be sending them a copy of this document so that all candidates be equally apprised of the possible changes that may be coming in the governance of this election.
5) Will I be allowed to have legal counsel assist me during the call and advance arguments in my defemse.
6) I would, at this time, like to propose the following compromise: Glen Petersen and Pete Tamburro have for some time been appointed to supervise the counting of the votes. That is the last necessary job under the Secretary that has to be done before the new election of officers in seven weeks in Phoenix. I therefore will consider resigning with the understanding that the current Board will refrain from naming a replacement for me until the new elections in seven weeks and Glen and Pete finish doing what they are already preparing for: Supervise the vote count and report the results to the Delegates in Phoenix.
My replies to Beatriz's specific points in Beatriz’s motion announcing her plans to replace me follow. They are placed immediately following the point in Beatriz’s motion and are preceded with DS: and in quotes. Beatriz’s text is preceded with BM.
From Beatriz Marinello:
BM: I would
like to introduce the following motion to the USCF Executive Board:
Beatriz Marinello:" Move to remove Donald Schultz as USCF Secretary. If this motion passes it should be effective immediately." Rationale for Motion: Mr. Schultz has not dealt with his Secretarial duties in a fair and impartial matter.
DS: “I disagree and request Beatriz to point out where, in her opinion, I failed to do this. For the sake of due process I ask that she do this sufficiently before the teleconference takes place so that I can prepare a rebuttal.”
BM: An Ethic complaint has been filled against USCF Secretary Don Schultz.
DS: “The Ethics complaint is currently an unsubstantiated complaint by one person.” It has not yet been acted upon by the Ethics committee.
BM: Additionally, recent events indicate the need to address the issue of having a Secretary that is in charge of running the election and at the same time acting as a campaign manager for some candidates running for a position in the USCF Executive Board.
DS: “Why now and not earlier? This issue should be an argument for the future. The fact is there are no significant Secretarial duties remaining before the new election of officers at the Delegates meeting in August.”
BM: Here are
more detailed explanations on my statement.
BM: 1) Back in February 2005, Mr. Schultz ruled initially to accept one of the candidate's statement after the deadline announced to all candidates for the submission of their political statements. Once I was informed about this ruling and I complain about it, Mr. Schultz changed his ruling in favor of enforcing the deadlines giving to the candidates.
DS: “That is incorrect. The only ruling I made was not to accept Sloan’s statement because it didn’t meet the criteria I had established at the start of the election”
BM: 2) The USCF Secretary has the duty to review the list of voters prior to sending the ballots for the election. There are two issues here which are very serious:
DS: “That is not true, as far as I know, the Secretary has never done this before.
BM: a) Since Mr. Schultz is not an impartial Secretary,
DS: “I contend I am and have been from the start of the election.”
BM: he could share this list with the candidates he is supporting.
DS: I don’t have the list and won’t have it. Glenn Petersen and Pete Tamburro who are heading up the election count will and it will be used to help verify the ballots.
BM: At the same time, the other candidates need to purchase the labels for their mailings, and they do not get a complete list of eligible voting members since some members request not to receive mail other than Chess Life Magazine and membership forms.
DS: “In order to assess this charge, I request that the three board members who are running for office bring with them copies of the names of any mailing lists purchased from the USCF. I will do the same thing for Mr. Channing.
BM: An investigation should be conducted to determine if Mr Schultz has indeed acted in unethical fashion by using this privilege of obtaining this confidential information for this own political agenda and in favor of the candidates to whom he declares himself the Campaign Manager.
DS: “I did not! I purchased all the mailing labels lists that we used and will have that information available for the teleconference. I reiterate my request above that this same information be provided by the three Board candidates running for the Board in this election: Randy Bauer, Steve Shutt and Elizabeth Shaughnessy. Also I don’t see the fact that someone requests an investigation on something as grounds for dismissal.
BM: b) The
USCF Secretary has the duties of coordinating the logistic for the election.
Mr. Schultz was too busy traveling around the country campaigning for his
candidates that he did not insure that the information given to the printer with
instructions on the procedures for printing and mailing the ballots was
adequate. This negligent action helped create the mishandling of the printing
of the ballot. Now, we are correcting the mistake, its costing the USCF around
contact with the printer has never been done as far as I know by the Secretary.
If in fact I did contact the printer directly I would have been grossly
criticized and questioned as to why. All contact with the Printer is always
done by the Publisher and the Publication Department.
That aside the
instructions to the printer were fine. The problem was there are two ink jet
printing nozzles used by the printer – one for the magazine address and one for
the verification data on the ballot inside the magazine. During a run of 5,000
of the magazines, the nozzle that was supposed to print the verification data
was turned away at a 90 degree angle.
The printer’s mistake has caused the error." So that $20,000 that Beatriz said I lost for the federation: (a) was not true and (b) the fact that Beatriz said on the Internet that it was my fault actually may allow the printer to get off the hook. Here is an Internet statement from Florida attorney Don Mihokovitch whose Internet ID is KidDon (Don has given USCF free legal advice in the past regarding the dispute with Susan Polgar and Paul Truong):
KidDon: I guess you can forget about recouping the $20,000 from the printer now that a USCF officer has publicly stated that it was another USCF's officer's fault for not giving adequate instructions to the printer. The printer can laugh all the way to the bank now.
BM: 3) The endorsement
of candidates by the Secretary is not banned by the USCF Bylaws. However, Mr.
Schultz admitted that he wrote part of Mr. Channing's political statement for
the May and June Chess Life Magazine. Mr. Schultz admitted putting in Mr.
endorsement of Channing using Tanner's title of the Chess Trust Trustee, in violation of the code of ethics adopted by US Chess Trust in relation with the USCF election. Mr. Schultz is not a neutral supervisor of the election and has a clear conflict of interest. Therefore, Don Schultz should step down as Secretary.
DS: “And the president endorsed candidates using official USCF letterhead with the USCF logo. She supported candidates while she was acting Chief Operating Officer something never been done before. Secretaries have routinely, in the past endorsed and actively supported candidates as have all Board members.” The rule that was violated was a US Chess Trust rule unknown to me. The Treasurer of the Trust Steve Doyle looked into and wrote a reply that it obviously was an unintentional error and ended the reply with the words “matter closed.”
DS: In closing let me say that this is a serious matter and it is important that it be handled properly. I am confident that all of you will not regard it as a political matter but determine by yourself whether the charges put forth by Beatriz against me rise to the level of taking the unprecedented action of removing an office of the Board from his position. Thank you for your attention to this note and I await your quick reply so that I can begin the necessary preparation of my defense.
And following is the reply from USCF President Beatriz Marinello. Schultz then accepted her conditions.
"6) I would, at this time, like to propose the following compromise: Glen Petersen and Pete Tamburro have for some time been appointed to supervise the counting of the votes. That is the last necessary job under the Secretary that has to be done before the new election of officers in seven weeks in Phoenix. I therefore will consider resigning with the understanding that the current Board will refrain from naming a replacement for me until the new elections in seven weeks and Glen and Pete finish doing what they are already preparing for: Supervise the vote count and report the results to the Delegates in Phoenix."
I will be will willing to accept this compromise and withdrawn my motion pending on the following:
That you put in writing all the rulings up today concerning the election, this should also include the procedures for counting the ballots. Additionally if either Glen Peterson or Peter Tamburro are unwilling or unable to performance the function of supervising the counting of the votes, then that person will be replace by Chair of the Election's Committee, Mike Nolan.
I would agree as a board member to accept your resignation as Secretary and I will vote against naming a replacement until the new elections finish.