I have been asked to comment about transparency and the apparent secrecy surrounding the dismissal of Mr. Joe Ames W3JY, the disqualifications of Mr. D. Doug Rehman Sr. K4AC, and Mr. Robert Famiglio K3RF. The current charge of lack of transparency on the ARRL Board is based on mis-information on details that I have witnessed as a Vice Director for six years and as an ARRL Director for the immediate past two years.
Mr. Joe Ames, W3JY, was the Section Manager for the ARRL Eastern Pennsylvania Section and Chair of the ARRL National Traffic System Eastern Area. On June 21st , 2016, he was relieved of both of his ARRL field appointments as Eastern PA SCM and as NTS Eastern Chair –
The reason for this was that Mr Ames, “unilaterally and repeatedly communicated with officials of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) on behalf of NTS, making commitments on behalf of ARRL without authority and in violation of the rules and regulations of the ARRL Field Organization. Those actions were contrary to the terms of the Memorandum of Understanding between FEMA and ARRL,…”
The details of this action were published was so that there could be no charge of a lack of transparency. This resulted in the filing of a civil action in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania by Mr, Ames, where he sought damages for defamation of his character. While the ARRL prevailed in its the case, the trial judge finding that all statements made by ARRL were true, and Ames’ appeal of that decision in ARRL’s favor to the Court of Appeals in Philadelphia failed completely, it should be noted that there is a significant price for that defense: our insurance-company-appointed lawyers told us to make no further statement about the case
It is against the backdrop these legal battles which did continue into 2018, that the issues of K4AC (in 2016) and K3RF (in 2017) were presented to the Board. In both instances the details were kept completely confidential and not released owing in part of direct threats by both parties of legal action against the ARRL. Once those threats were made, ARRL is unable to comment on the matters.
As a remedy to present the members with all of the information possible regarding the cause of any disqualification, dismissal or removal of a Candidate for ARRL office, a By-Law change, one that I strongly supported, was adopted at the July 2018 Board Meeting.
That bylaw change will insure openness by providing that all Candidates for office sign an agreement which states that the circumstances surrounding any potential disqualification of a Candidate will be made public to the membership; unless, after the decision and within a short period of time prior to release of that information, the candidate chooses to have that information kept confidential. In other words, the candidate does have the option to keep the details of the disqualification confidential or to make it public.
In my tenure as the Central Division Director I have posted the proposed amendments to the ARRL By-laws and Articles of Incorporation to our Central Division website which can be found at;