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    Code of Conduct

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    Hane-goshi

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    Join date : 2013-01-06

    Code of Conduct

    Post by Hane-goshi on Sun Feb 02, 2014 6:25 pm

    Recently, I read that a high ranking black belt was convicted of grand theft and falsifying records by stealing $212,000 from the local high school band. He was a volunteer treasurer for the band. Without getting into a debate as to why he committed the felony, I have 3 questions: As a convicted felon should he still be able to teach judo to kids? Should he still be a member of USJA, USJF or USA JUDO in good standing? All of these three organizations have a code of ethics, why was he not been expelled or should he be expelled in your opinion.

    I raise these questions becauses it troubles me that a black belt, especially a high ranking black, can commit such an atrocious crime and still be considered a member of the judo community in good standing.
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    Quicksilver

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    Join date : 2012-12-29
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    Re: Code of Conduct

    Post by Quicksilver on Sun Feb 02, 2014 8:21 pm

    I suspect you may find you've brushed a bit of a delicate subject with this, since the dan grade in question was a member of the old JF at the time of the incident and very many rather heated discussions were had, and of course, as a significant portion of that membership is now here that history is not without pertinence. Not that this in and of itself in any way necessitates avoidance of the matter, I simply bring it up so as to provide a bit of context for some of the responses you might, or might not, receive.

    Warm regards.


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    Steve Leadbeater

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    Re: Code of Conduct

    Post by Steve Leadbeater on Sun Feb 02, 2014 8:41 pm

    Hane-Goshi San,

    would you care to elaborate.....

    we know the person to whom you refer............

    what is/was the outcome of said conviction(s) ??
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    Hane-goshi

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    Re: Code of Conduct

    Post by Hane-goshi on Mon Feb 03, 2014 6:12 am


    samsmith2424

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    Re: Code of Conduct

    Post by samsmith2424 on Mon Feb 03, 2014 7:50 am

    I don't see what his conviction has on his ability to teach Judo? As far as I can see children are safe in his presence.

    I would be pleased if he posted here. I felt it was a loss when he left the forum.

    I just would not want him handling my money.

    still learning

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    Age : 48
    Location : South Wales UK

    Re: Code of Conduct

    Post by still learning on Mon Feb 03, 2014 9:35 am

    The courts have had access to all the information, made a judgement and applied what they consider to be a fair penalty, matter closed.

    As samsmith said, it is not children related so no problem with teaching.

    The only caveat is how it might be perceived in the community, if his presence where to adversely affect the club then the club would have to come first.
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    Hane-goshi

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    Re: Code of Conduct

    Post by Hane-goshi on Mon Feb 03, 2014 10:31 am

    I think there is a misunderstanding as to who's money that was actually stolen.  Read the local police report: http://www.murrieta.org/civica/press/display.asp?layout=1&Entry=250.

    The money was not stolen from the school.  It was stolen from the booster club, where the money goes directly to the kids.  In fact, the kids did a lot of car washing and other activities to raise some of that money which was stolen by him.  Are children safe in his presence?  How is this not child related?
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    Heisenberg

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    Join date : 2013-03-03
    Location : Central FL

    Re: Code of Conduct

    Post by Heisenberg on Mon Feb 03, 2014 11:37 am

    Quoted directly from the USJA Background Screening Policy document:
    USJA wrote:8. If there is a felony record, the matter is referred to the Standards and Ethics Committee for investigation, since it is contrary to our Code of Ethics for a member to be a convicted felon.
    The accused/allocuted was governed by this governing body and its rules. He was also an officer (Treasurer, as it were) of this judo organization, though he was never accused or suspected of embezzlement from it. As an officer he would have been well aware of its policies.

    That said, I don't believe that someone that has had a previous conviction should be barred from holding rank, especially for something a long time ago, or for what I would call a victimless crime (drugs, alcoholism, etc.) or malum prohibitum offenses.
    The fact that he stole from a children's organization he had a fiduciary duty to shows very poor judgement, and he is being punished for that. As to whether or not he should be coaching children, I would leave that up to the parents.


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    BillC

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    Re: Code of Conduct

    Post by BillC on Mon Feb 03, 2014 3:43 pm

    I am only going to say this once, and without elaboration.

    Having served his sentence and taken a service/labor job in order to make restitution, Paul continues to be involved, and contribute positively to judo.  The local judo community is shocked and disappointed, but we do not want him out of judo.  It would be a terrible loss for his knowledge to be turned away.  He is being closely watched by someone of high rank who feels that proper apologies and restitution are being made.  

    Interesting, because Paul and that high dan were local rivals, and did not always refer to each other in complimentary terms.   In that high dan's opinion "judo people need to help each other."  In this case he means help Paul back on the straight and narrow.  He took personal responsibility to help that happen within judo.  My admiration for that high dan increased enormously at that moment he said that ... I could for the first moment truly call him "sensei" in the example he was setting for the entire judo community.

    There is not, and never was, any danger to children.  To bring that up is completely absurd.  

    Sorry, but I have a right to an opinion that none of you have.  

    I was at every hearing, including the sentencing hearing.  The only person, by the way.  I know "why he did it" and those reasons are common and mundane ... though it is no one's business but Paul's and the court.  He is the one that must live with himself having fallen from a great height financially and disappointed friends, family and community.

    This is at best a local problem, and I find it interesting that anyone outside the region, much less outside the country, should be concerned about it.

    May I suggest this be the last word on the subject?


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    Re: Code of Conduct

    Post by Guest on Wed Feb 05, 2014 5:18 am

    Hane-goshi wrote:Recently, I read that a high ranking black belt was convicted of grand theft and falsifying records by stealing $212,000 from the local high school band. He was a volunteer treasurer for the band.  Without getting into a debate as to why he committed the felony, I have 3 questions: As a convicted felon should he still be able to teach judo to kids?  Should he still be a member of USJA, USJF or USA JUDO in good standing?  All of these three organizations have a code of ethics, why was he not been expelled or should he be expelled in your opinion.

    I raise these questions becauses it troubles me that a black belt, especially a high ranking black, can commit such an atrocious crime and still be considered a member of the judo community in good standing.

    I think your question on USJA bylaws and code of ethics is a fair one if you were curious about the process in general. When reading on the USJA’s code of ethics and the section of “Enforcement of Code” it would seem to me that it’s a case by case basis completely up to the people who are the Board of Directors. As such Board of Directors can be swayed by personal opinions and/or the politics involved in an organization.

    It seems to me you’re trying to stir the pot a little bit here. I think you could have asked this question by using a general example and you would have received a proper response. Instead, you use a specific person who some on this forum have a personal relationship with. I’m guessing you were a part of the old forum. Perhaps you have another user name on this forum. This topic was an explosive topic on the old forum and it wouldn’t shock me if this thread was closed.

    Richard Riehle

    Posts : 79
    Join date : 2013-06-22
    Location : California

    Re: Code of Conduct

    Post by Richard Riehle on Sun Mar 09, 2014 3:27 pm

    BillC wrote:I am only going to say this once, and without elaboration.

    Having served his sentence and taken a service/labor job in order to make restitution, Paul continues to be involved, and contribute positively to judo.  The local judo community is shocked and disappointed, but we do not want him out of judo.  It would be a terrible loss for his knowledge to be turned away.  He is being closely watched by someone of high rank who feels that proper apologies and restitution are being made.  

    Interesting, because Paul and that high dan were local rivals, and did not always refer to each other in complimentary terms.   In that high dan's opinion "judo people need to help each other."  In this case he means help Paul back on the straight and narrow.  He took personal responsibility to help that happen within judo.  My admiration for that high dan increased enormously at that moment he said that ... I could for the first moment truly call him "sensei" in the example he was setting for the entire judo community.

    There is not, and never was, any danger to children.  To bring that up is completely absurd.  

    Sorry, but I have a right to an opinion that none of you have.  

    I was at every hearing, including the sentencing hearing.  The only person, by the way.  I know "why he did it" and those reasons are common and mundane ... though it is no one's business but Paul's and the court.  He is the one that must live with himself having fallen from a great height financially and disappointed friends, family and community.

    This is at best a local problem, and I find it interesting that anyone outside the region, much less outside the country, should be concerned about it.

    May I suggest this be the last word on the subject?

    The person in question is a personal friend, so I have a slight bias. Nevertheless, he has been judged and sentenced according to the laws of the venue in which he committed his violation. He has paid a price, a significant price, for having violated the trust of the organization of which he was treasurer. As Bill C notes, the matter, as a civil case is closed.

    As for his danger to the community, to children, or anyone else, there was never a question. He succumbed to a temptation in the financial sphere because of some personal hardship, and that was wrong. In every other respect, he has been an honorable person who has never posed a danger to anyone of any age, gender, or ethnicity.

    I have known, during my almost 80 years of life, others who have failed the test when confronted with economic hardship, people who, in every other way are decent people. When one is confronted with that test, and when the hardship involves the well-being and health of someone about whom we care deeply, the temptation to "borrow" from a fund with which we are entrusted can be substantial. You (those of you who are sitting in judgment) and I have never had to confront that reality, so we have not been tested in the same way. Recall that the entire story of Les Miserables begins with an incident in which a hungry man steals a piece of bread from a child.

    Atonement and forgiveness are always available to the person who makes a mistake, pays for that mistake, and becomes a better person from what he has learned. I would trust this man without question in any future situation. He is not danger to anyone at any level at this point in his life. As Bill C notes, it is time to move on and benefit from the lessons we have all learned, from the lessons he has learned, and the value he can be in the future as one of the most capable members of the Judo community.

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