Monday, March 31, 2014

Board embarrasses itself with weak case against Curtis

Over the next few posts, leading up to the April 27 meeting, I’m going to try and deal with some of the issues that arose at the meeting and look at them in a little more detail with the information I have.

First off is the OCA board's decision to remove Dale Curtis from her position as Vice-President (she did keep her position on the board).

I think it’s safe to say that most people were shocked when it was announced that Dale had been removed from her position as First Vice-President.

I was also told that prior to yesterday’s meeting, OCA president Ian McGillis and past president Joan O’Leary asked Curtis to resign from the board, which she smartly refused to do.

This entire episode is an embarrassing mess.

First off, I really had a hard time understanding how the board could make a move such as this at that time. I realize they had a board meeting on the Saturday, but really . . . a day before you’re about to meet with the angry masses and you chop the one person these folks have been able to have faith in?

Not very bright.

To many of the people in that room, Curtis was a glimmer of hope. After all, she stuck her neck out to get that Special General Meeting. No matter how the board spun it, they weren’t going to get any sympathy for voting her out. Even if they had just cause for chopping her, it never should have happened at that time. The optics are simply horrible and it put the board in a big hole just moments after the meeting started.

And when it comes to just cause, it seems the board was a little lacking in any evidence. There was lots of guilt by association but these folks aren't going to be admitted to the bar any time soon. 

At first, the cause for her termination was apparently that she exercised her right to call the special general meeting.

Later in the meeting, Joan O’Leary said there was more to the dismissal than that. She stated that Curtis had been in disagreement with the board for some time and also wasn’t toeing the party line when it came to decisions. She stated that once a board makes a decision, there should be public unanimity behind that decision no matter what went on in the boardroom. That apparently wasn’t the case with Curtis.

But the biggest problem seemed to be that the board believed Curtis was a leak, that she was sending board documents and communication to outsiders

They accused her of giving documents to blogs, which I assumed included or meant me, which I can assure you is not true. I’ve never had any communication with Curtis whatsoever and I stated that at the meeting.

More troubling was that O’Leary point-blank accused her of giving a CCA letter to Colin Sinclair, her partner. Earlier in the meeting, Sinclair referenced the letter and produced a copy. O’Leary’s theory was that only Curtis could have given it to him.

But when Sinclair asked her if she had proof of that, she couldn’t produce any.

Now I can tell you that letter had been in the hands of every member of the OCA board as well as every member of the CCA board. Any one of them could have passed it on to Sinclair. I can tell you that I received a copy of the letter and it wasn’t from Curtis or Sinclair or anyone associated with the OCA.

So let’s review: Curtis didn’t break any rules by calling for a Special general meeting. There is no proof that she leaked any documents to anyone. So the only reason for dismissal seems to be that she didn’t agree with a lot of what the board decided.

For that, she’s been pushed from her position and apparently from becoming the president next year.

Perhaps there's more that the board isn't telling us, but right now this really seems like an attempt to shut up someone who has the right to speak up. 

At the meeting on April 27, there will be a vote to re-instate Dale Curtis and it will be interesting to see how that turns out.

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