Thursday, October 21, 2010

Tonight the monthly 'Southern Pacific Masters Association' meeting takes place!

Tonight SPMA (The Southern Pacific Masters Association LMSC) is going to have its usual monthly meeting and what is on the agenda tonight is whether a Coach should be banned from SPMA events but no one has put it on the agenda.

I am going to vote against the ban because I don't like family strife.

Here are the minutes from the SPMA - Grievance Committee along with their recommendations:
The Grievance Committee went into deliberations between 8:00 pm and 9:15 pm. Discussion included consideration of all submitted documents as well as the statements and rebuttal testimony given by the Petitioner and the Respondent during the hearing.
In accordance with the USMS LMSC Grievance Procedure, the Committee agreed that the grievance submitted by the Petitioner has merit and therefore is not dismissed. The Committee also agreed that the Respondent’s membership with SPMA should not be suspended but respectfully makes the following recommendation:
For the period of 12 months between November 1, 2010 through October 31, 2011, the Respondent shall:
  1. Not be allowed to compete in SPMA/SPMS sanctioned events – this includes both pool competitions and open water competitions
  2. Not be allowed to hold any SPMA/SPMS elected or appointed office, nor be a member of any SPMA/SPMS committee or sub-committee
  3. Not be allowed a vote on SPMA/SPMS business conducted during LMSC meetings
  4. Not be allowed to represent a club or group for purposes of SPMA/SPMS business
The Committee further recommends that the Respondent not be prevented from coaching for an SPMA/SPMS club and be on deck as a coach during SPMA/SPMS-sanctioned competitions during this time period and that the Respondent not be excluded from competing in non-SPMA/SPMS competitions and events.


danthefiddleman said...


You don't say anything about the substance of the grievance. Did I miss something?

Nobody likes "family strife." But either the grievance merits action or it doesn't. Hard to have an opinion, though, without knowing the issue.


Tony Austin said...
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Anonymous said...

Depends on what the content of the flaming was like.

However, if it was just regular flame war messages, a 12 month ban seems harsh.

Anonymous said...

The flaming resulted in ine of the parties having to resign from a paid USMS job, because they didn't wish to be exposed to the nastiness. Getting banned because you made somenone's life so miserable that their only solution to get away from it is to resign from a paid job seems very just to me. Just because it's internet and email, it doesn't mean that 'anything goes'. People eventually do suffer consequences for bad behavior in a workplace or a volunteer organization.

Anonymous said...

There are two sides to every story, and there are obviously two sides to this grievance. I just don't understand why Ahelee continues to tell everyone that she didn't do anything wrong when there is documented proof of the accusations she has made and the e-mails she has sent and continues to send to people trying to claim that she is a victim. She is not the saint you may think she is, and it's time people start to realize that she has cooked her own goose.

Tony Austin said...

From what I understand, the person who resigned sent a resignation letter and it was voted on and it was accepted.

Was this person coerced by a member to resign or were they asked to submit it? If so post the info.

Tony Austin said...

I am not going to speak for Ahelee but I am going to ask a question after this preface:

Craig Lord and I called each other "jackasses" on this blog when I pointed fingers at his journalistic integrity. He called me a de facto liar. I said he forfeited his journalistic citizenship when he submitted an affidavit in the USA Swimming/TYR lawsuit.

If someone believes what they are saying no matter how real or how ridiculous these beliefs are, how can they ever be able to find fault within themselves?

Anonymous said...

I am really curious how Tony got hold of information contained in private communication within the SPMA EC, which is 5 people. The rest of us mortals that have to vote, in the SPMA committee did not get the grievance committee minutes, they're not public information yet. Tony seems to have special access to someone.

Tony Austin said...

I can be amusing but I am not psychic. If I get something in my email and I think it is worth posting, I post it. I had no idea that the letter was private.

Also, were the people who received these recommendations bound by some agreement not to share it? No one told me.

Believe me or not, I posted it for I thought the information was public.

If you want to send me something, I will post that too.

Anonymous said...

Actually, voting no only results in sending the whole thing to the national level grievance, and puts ahelee under even more scrutiny, and one more go-around of the same thing. Not knowing what's inside the thing, on an off chance it has merit, it's possible national people may go with harder punishment. I think at the local level, two out of four people on the grievance thing, and two people on the executive SPMA are ahelee's good friends. On the national grievance level, she has no personal friends, and they are even more procedure conscious, and take no prisoners. Believe it or not, things are stacked more in her favor locally. People need to be really really sure when they vote no, that there's no merit to this, because if they are wrong, it could really backfire on your friend. Being that almost half the people on the committees are ahelee's friends, and even they voted in favor of recommendations, it's hard to think they are against here with no merit to it all, and the whole world is against her, just out of blue. Something doesn't add up quite right.

Tony Austin said...

Respectfully, This is what I know, no matter which way the vote goes, it will end up in a National Board of Review.

Consequently, this is going to shred both the reputations and the political aspirations of everybody involved and that includes whoever "wins" this for moving forward all parties will be considered radioactive.

There is only one solution to this mess, and that entails some wise person to figure out a way where both sides win.

What does each side want? Get them in a room with a "conflict resolution ninja" and sort it out.

With that said, since solving this by force is the solution du jour, I have to side with my friend because she has a friend in me.

Merritt Johnson said...

I think it is good to invite a discussion on the topic, to clear up both sides of the issue. I don't know enough about all the drama to have an opinion that deserves being expressed though. However, I find it very hard to take seriously anyone who posts as Anonymous while specifically calling out another by name.

Anonymous said...

So what happened with the vote?

Tony Austin said...
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Tony Austin said...
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Tony Austin said...
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Tony Austin said...
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Tony Austin said...

We had our phone call. It was very heated and instead of voting on whether Ahelee should be banned, the vote changed to whether we feel the grievance committee conducted the hearing in a fair and appropriate manner...

Both sides went back and forth in favor and against Coach Ahelee, I was of course in favor.

Finally, I asked for 7-seconds for a rebuttal which I was granted but I was interrupted by "one member" who said "SHUT UP!" and "NO!" I accused him of "filibustering my time" and "bullying me", which did not go over very well but the chair, Errol G., who I am very impressed with, granted me the 7-seconds I asked for and I said, "we did not hear the evidence at the hearing, how can we vote on whether the hearing was conducted fairly?" Ergo, I said I would vote against it being a fair grievance hearing.

One member rebutted my statement stating how he was "seeing red" over my "politicking." Well I was seeing red over my friend being banned for a year.

Then into the weekend I got a email at about 2:30 AM from someone I must have really pissed off at the meeting whose name I won't mention threatening to sue me.

They threatened SCAQ, Clay Evans, and Bonnie Adair too. They challenged me to put my money where my mouth is and get a lawyer; (This email was CCed to other people such as the SPMS chairman so there is plenty of evidence that this happened), so I did see a lawyer.

I talked to a lawyer with a swanky office on Santa Monica BL. on Monday Morning. (Universal Sports used to be in the same building.)

I asked if I could publish the email I was sent with all the typos and threats. He said sure and he said if this person sued me he said he would bring in the notable Swim club she was the club rep for in any lawsuit filed and this would include depositions of the coaches and the general manger to see how culpable they were in this. He also asked if it was worth the $7,500 retainer to get started.

He then suggested that $7,500 could be used in a much more constructive manner then pursuing a person who sends letters at 2:30 AM.

After considering the $7,500 fee, I figured I would take the high road and not produce the blow back for the USMS, and SPMS. (I have the money ready in case this person threatens me again.) They letters were really creepy letters. One included a screenshot of my FaceBook.)

Also, I like and appreciate the head coach of this club who I consider to be quite a gentlemen so I figured, I will save the letters in case I need them later to defend myself.