Dear Pat:

The USCF Ethics Committee has considered the complaint by Grant Perks against Sam Sloan. By a vote of 8-1, the Committee finds that some of the statements cited by Mr. Perks in his complaint constitute a violation of the Code of Ethics. By a further vote of 9-0, the Committee recommends that Mr. Sloan receive a reprimand.

The statements cited by Mr. Perks fell into three general categories: (1) charges that Perks was fired from his position at USCF, (2) charges that Perks and Ernest Schlich were employees of USCF and thus ineligible to be candidates in the Executive Board election of 2005 and (3) charges that Perks and Beatriz Marinello committed crimes during the course of their duties at USCF.

The principle of free speech must be given great respect. However, the Committee majority concluded that there must be a limit to what is permitted in civilized discourse, even on a public forum during an election campaign. The majority concluded that while the statements in categories (1) and (2) do not cross this threshold, the category (3) statements do. Accusations of criminal activity are inherently inflammatory and harmful to the reputation of the accused and the majority finds that Mr. Sloan made these charges with a reckless disregard for their truth or falsehood.

By a vote of 9-0, the Committee agrees that this letter fairly represents its position.


Sincerely,
Hal Terrie
(2006-07 Ethics Committee Chair)

 

Dear Mr. Sloan:

Mr. Herbert Rodney Vaughn has filed an ethics complaint against you,
consisting of 16 numbered charges, the first of which we determined is
actually two charges. For the sake of clarity, we will refer to them as 1A
and 1B. In this package you will find:

1. This letter.
2. A copy of the letter being sent to Mr. Vaughn.
3. A complete and unedited copy of the complaint submitted by Mr. Vaughn.

The Ethics Committee has considered these charges and has decided to
accept jurisdiction for some of them and reject it for others. I will give
you full details below. Normally, Pat Knight of the USCF office would write
the letter informing you of our decision but, because of the complexity of
the case, I have written the letter and the Committee has approved the text.
I have also written the letter which will be sent to Mr. Vaughn. Each of you
will receive a copy of the letter sent to the other.

Although I am writing this letter, it is very important that you address
all future communications about this case to:

U.S. Chess Federation
Attn. Pat Knight
P.O. Box 3967
Crossville, TN 38557

Do not send communications of any kind to me or any other member of the
Committee.

In considering the question of jurisdiction on each of the charges, the
Committee first reached agreement on two general conclusions, which guided
our decision on each charge. These conclusions are:

First, the Committee rejects the contention that articles, web pages etc.
created long ago can be considered as current actions by a member of the
Executive Board "in the performance of" his duties, as specified by the
Standards of Conduct for the Executive Board, because they are "still" being
published. The Standards apply only to actions initiated after the date a
member of the Executive Board takes office.

Second, the Committee also rejects the claim that the definition of "duties"
in the Standards should be expanded to include matters mentioned in
documents other than the Code of Ethics, the Standards of Conduct for the
Executive Board and the Bylaws of the USCF.

Using these two conclusions as a foundation, the Committee has voted as
follows on jurisdiction for each of the charges:

1A (Lying to the Delegates; Standards)

5-4 ACCEPT JURISDICTION

1B (Web site contradicts "goals" of USCF; Code)

8-1 DECLINE JURISDICTION

2 (Inappropriate web site material; Standards)

8-1 DECLINE JURISDICTION

3 (Accusations against USCF employee; Standards)

9-0 ACCEPT JURISDICTION

4 (Violation of Executive Board closed session confidentiality; Standards)

9-0 ACCEPT JURISDICTION

5 (Misuse of BINFO system for personal gain; Standards)

8-1 ACCEPT JURISDICTION

6 (Sloan request for investigation of false Sam Sloan postings on internet;
Standards and Code)

9-0 DECLINE JURISDICTION

7 (Disparaging remarks in BINFO system about Chess Life Editor and Susan
Polgar; Standards)

6-3 DECLINE JURISDICTION

8 (Polgar photos on Sloan web site; Code)

9-0 DECLINE JURISDICTION

9 (Chess Life material republished on Sloan web site; Standards)

9-0 DECLINE JURISDICTION

10 (Financial solicitation on Sloan web site; Code)

8-1 DECLINE JURISDICTION

11 (Personally motivated Executive Board motion; Standards)

7-2 DECLINE JURISDICTION

12 ("Continued" USCF Forum publication of attacks on Grant Perks; Standards
and Code)

6-3 DECLINE JURISDICTION

13 (Personal attacks on Susan Polgar in the BINFO system; Standards)

5-4 ACCEPT JURISDICTION

14 (Advocacy of hiring unqualified TD; Code)

9-0 DECLINE JURISDICTION

15 ("Continued" publication of web site material; Standards)

9-0 DECLINE JURISDICTION

16 (Personal attacks using BINFO system; Standards)

5-4 DECLINE JURISDICTION

The procedure to be followed is this. Just before this letter is sent to
you, Pat Knight will insert into it a sentence giving the exact deadline
date for your first response to the charges. You will have 30 days to
make your initial response to the charges for which we have accepted
jurisdiction (1A, 3, 4, 5, 13). Mr. Vaughn will receive a copy of that
response and will have two weeks to make a rebuttal. You will then have two
weeks to make a final statement.

Important note: Although as a matter of due process you will be sent a
complete copy of the complaint, DO NOT spend any time discussing charges
for which we have rejected jurisdiction. Write ONLY about the charges we
accepted for review.

Sincerely,

Hal Terrie
2006-07 Chair, USCF Ethics Committee

 

Dear Judy:

The USCF Ethics Committee has considered the complaint by Herbert Rodney Vaughn against Sam Sloan and has made the following findings:

Regarding charge 1A, the Committee has voted 9-0 that there has been no violation of the Preamble or Section 6(g) of the Standards of Conduct for the USCF Executive Board, as alleged by the plaintiff. The Committee saw no evidence of any promise by Mr. Sloan to the Delegates and agreed that, in any case, failure to keep such a promise would not be a violation of the Standards.

Regarding charge 3, the Committee has voted 8-1 that Mr. Sloan has violated Sections 2(e), 3(b) and 3(d) of the Standards of Conduct. By a further vote of 8-0, with one abstention, the Committee recommends that Mr. Sloan receive a censure. In his statement to the Committee, Mr. Sloan admits making false and damaging statements about a USCF employee but claims that he published a retraction and apology. The Committee majority does not find this to be an acceptable defense.

Regarding charge 4, the Committee has voted 8-1 that Mr. Sloan has violated Section 3(e) of the Standards of Conduct. By a further vote of 8-0, with one abstention, the Committee recommends that Mr. Sloan receive a censure. In his statement to the Committee, Mr. Sloan admits publicly revealing information from a closed session of the Executive Board but claims he was justified in doing so because the information should not have been restricted to closed session. The Committee majority does not find this to be an acceptable defense, as Section 3(e) of the Standards contains no provision which permits a member of the Executive Board unilaterally to decide which closed session items should be made public.

Regarding charge 5, the Committee has voted 5-4 that Mr. Sloan has violated Sections 2 and 2(a) of the Standards of Conduct. By a further vote of 6 (reprimand), 2 (no sanction) and one abstention, the Committee recommends that Mr. Sloan receive a reprimand. The Committee majority agreed that posting a book advertisement to the BINFO system is a violation of the Standards but a minor and technical one.

Regarding charge 13, the Committee has voted 6-3 that Mr. Sloan has violated Section 2 of the Standards of Conduct. By a further vote of 6 (reprimand), 1 (censure) and 2 (no sanction), the Committee recommends that Mr. Sloan receive a reprimand. The Committee majority agreed that the evidence presented demonstrated that Mr. Sloan’s numerous postings to the BINFO system about Susan Polgar were somewhat motivated by personal factors, rather than solely by a concern for his duties as a member of the Executive Board.

By a vote of 9-0, the Committee agrees that this letter fairly represents its position.

Sincerely,

Hal Terrie
(2006-07 Ethics Committee Chair)