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    Complaint against USA Judo

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    Jerry Hays

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    Complaint against USA Judo

    Post by Jerry Hays on Fri May 09, 2014 7:17 am

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    Udon

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    Re: Complaint against USA Judo

    Post by Udon on Fri May 09, 2014 8:47 am

    I am unable to download the 75 page referenced document. Is that something that can be displayed on this forum or is it too long?

    Jerry Hays

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    Re: Complaint against USA Judo

    Post by Jerry Hays on Fri May 09, 2014 9:02 am

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    NBK

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    Re: Complaint against USA Judo

    Post by NBK on Fri May 09, 2014 11:49 am

    What a mess! If true,
    - athletes not getting paid in a timely fashion if at all, and the money came to the org specifically for that purpose
    - sweetheart improper loans to personnel without board oversight
    - Jose Rodriguez selling gis to the org through multiple shell companies without accountability for actual product and performance
    - improper payroll reporting
    - accounts receivable in a huge mess
    - clear implications that the charter and ethics policies have been violated on an ongoing basis
    - management disorganized, marketing a mess, blahblah....

    Someone should be scrambling like mad to figure out a response. Some of this will get you a very unfriendly IRS visit.

    NBK
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    finarashi

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    Re: Complaint against USA Judo

    Post by finarashi on Fri May 09, 2014 8:42 pm

    Hey, they should have behaved honestly like PJU. Just write a note saying "I took $20000 for expenses" then according to the auditing, that is all right.


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    Cichorei Kano

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    Re: Complaint against USA Judo

    Post by Cichorei Kano on Fri May 09, 2014 11:44 pm

    Apart from a certain degree of voyeurism and need to look into individual's private correspondence I am not sure why this is published at this time given that this is explicitly termed by its author as an "informal" complaint. Did all these people consent to having their private correspondence published ?  Did all the people on these lists who provided donations consent to having their names published ?  Is there any law that makes this all public record ?  It is not a mere issue of potential mismanagement. At the same time there are ethical questions about leaking such a documents instead of following the proper channels, be it via the USOC or the IRS or other institutions. Such leaking usually has a purpose, namely to raise enough public outrage (rather than public awareness) that no matter the veracity of the facts sufficient ad hominem will be raised in which fact can't be separated from rumor. As this was intended as an informal complaint, it seems questionable if even the person raising the concern had the intent of straying from the proper channels. At least the names of the people authoring the correspondence and those providing monies should be censored and their privacy respected.

    Even if this is all true, this is nothing compared to what goes on in the international parent organizations ... not that such is a ground for justification, but anyhow, there is a reason why people go into judo politics instead of practicing and learning on the tatami. This was already so in the days of Charlie Palmer, or later under Mr. Park, of with the current judo facade for money laundering of casino income and much worse. Nothing new under the sun.


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    NBK

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    Re: Complaint against USA Judo

    Post by NBK on Sat May 10, 2014 1:37 am

    I can't imagine these people consented. However it was released, it is now in the public eye. And saying there is worse afoot in other organizations seems a curious 'defense', although I'm sure that not what you intended.

    Positions of leadership of non-profit organizations carry operational and fiduciary responsibilities; getting your name dragged into public debate over your performance or lack of oversight is certainly one of the hazards.




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    Cichorei Kano

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    Re: Complaint against USA Judo

    Post by Cichorei Kano on Sat May 10, 2014 2:57 am

    NBK wrote:I can't imagine these people consented.  However it was released, it is now in the public eye.  And saying there is worse afoot in other organizations seems a curious 'defense', although I'm sure that not what you intended.  

    Of course that is not what I intended, which is why I literally inserted the phrase "not that such is a ground for justification". Rather, it should have been clear that what I wrote intended to convey that judo at a corporate level has been rotten for decades. I just returned from the European Championships and got another sample of that there, people who have been there for three-four decades who do not even come on the tatami again, but who are on every EJU or IJF event, who are on the payroll of the federation which serves to them as their private travel agency; people who have contributed absolutely nothing to judo in no way, not as a judoka, not as a teacher, not as a referee, not as a competitor, not as a pedagogue, not as a researchers, absolutely zero. But while the athletes and others are sometimes struggling to survive they continue to do their thing using all the money and income from membership, sponsorhip, and federal subsidies for private matters and enjoyment. This is not even a problem of the USJI, but a problem of judo and often the kinds of people it attracts in its politics. Like in the military, judo creates a micro-society with its own rules and a distinct hierarchy that means nothing in the real world but that for those who choose to get involved in judo has absolute relevance and translates into power. More than 25 years ago our national team was struggling to survive with a federation that was almost broke. A quick look at the books showed that this had not prevented our federation's president to have flown to Japan first class, not just first class as you would do it, but first-class full fare, sir !  And local stay in a 5 star hotel. In fact, this was the sole reason the federation was almost bankrupt. This of course isn't a justification either, but it's reality, and even a reality that is not surprising. The majority of people who run federations and up in there not through business achievements or education, but through some twist or power. Objectively, if one would have a third party agency properly selecting candidates they would often be totally incompetent, having no achievements whatsoever that are proportionate to heading such an organization, but in judo it is possible. The consequences of that problem unfortunately oftentimes do not remain hidden long. It is one of the main reasons that leads to schisms in federations (that, or dan-ranks) but the new satellite federations rarely steer free of that and usually fall victim to the exact same problem but to the advantage of a different equipe personally benefiting.

    But the same refers to "however, it is now in the public eye"; that is not justification either. If that were so why even have judicial authorities as one could then simply revert to public lynching. We saw some of that in the aftermath of the Lybian war and other civil wars. In Europe we saw some huge misdeeds after war. The atrocities committed by the Nazi's against Jews and gypsies were still very fresh, but in response many partisans and patriots decided to take the law into their own. Lots of people were falsely accused of collaboration and executed, the real reason often being that some dude who before the was had some personal dealing with the other one under false pretenses used the war and supposed collaboration to murder someone else. Young women were falsely accused of having slept with a German soldier and of collaboration, in consequence of which the worst attrocities were justfied using some kind of supposed military judgment. It's not new. It's not hard to create public anger, add some exaggeration or misrepresentation here or there, throw in the world 'children' or 'innocent young girls/boys', 'family values', whatever, and stupidity and the Internet will do the rest. Even the author who wrote this and filed the complaint did not seek the general public or the Internet authority to judge the facts. She did not address "the world" but she explicitly sought the judgments of an ethics committee. In this way she too may end up as a victim because now everyone knows her name, with all kinds of potential retaliation and threads to her family and personal well-being be it from parties who feel targeted or whoever, and everyone who breaches confidentiality and who may have improperly received access to or might even have stolen this correspondence becomes glorified. It does not seem that this is case of the government or people holding public office, where some kind of civil disobedience justifies the survival of democracy. Of course I would not condone misappropriation of monies but the due process is a fundamental aspect of our judicial system and that applies to everyone involved. If the author, who apparently donated herself tens of thousands of dollars in support, appears to have the serenity and professionalism to follow the proper way then certainly those who are not personaly involved to that extent should have the maturity to do the same.


    Last edited by Cichorei Kano on Sat May 10, 2014 4:18 am; edited 1 time in total


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    "Quand on essaie, c'est difficile. Quand on n'essaie pas, c'est impossible" (Guess Who ?)
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    BillC

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    Re: Complaint against USA Judo

    Post by BillC on Sat May 10, 2014 3:16 am

    This just in ...

    In a recent internet posting, information was published in regard to a letter sent to USA Judo which expressed concerns about various business and financial affairs of USA Judo. The letter stated that it was sent on an informal basis, not as a formal complaint.
    USA Judo will not comment on informal inquiries and will not violate any confidences by responding to rumors on the internet, regardless of their source. We also will not speculate as to the motives of anyone who would release this information.
    The USA Judo Board of Directors takes very seriously our obligation to protect the integrity of our sport and of our organization. We have an on-going commitment to address concerns, whenever they are appropriately brought to our attention.  We also have a commitment to do so in a thorough, neutral and discrete investigative process, to avoid drawing pre-judgments, and to avoid responding in knee-jerk fashion to social media posts or opinion trends.
    Therefore, the USA Judo Board of Directors has initiated a review process, which will be undertaken independent of the Board and staff, to determine if any of the concerns have merit. The results will be reported to the Board for its consideration and any appropriate action.
    USA Judo leadership recognizes the successes that have been achieved by USA Judo through the dedicated support of its volunteers and staff, and wants to build upon those successes as we move forward.

    Best Regards,

    USA Judo Board of Directors


    Last edited by BillC on Sat May 10, 2014 3:19 am; edited 1 time in total


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    BillC

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    Re: Complaint against USA Judo

    Post by BillC on Sat May 10, 2014 3:18 am

    NBK wrote:What a mess!  If true,
    - athletes not getting paid in a timely fashion if at all, and the money came to the org specifically for that purpose
    - sweetheart improper loans to personnel without board oversight
    - Jose Rodriguez selling gis to the org through multiple shell companies without accountability for actual product and performance
    - improper payroll reporting
    - accounts receivable in a huge mess
    - clear implications that the charter and ethics policies have been violated on an ongoing basis
    - management disorganized, marketing a mess, blahblah....

    Someone should be scrambling like mad to figure out a response.  Some of this will get you a very unfriendly IRS visit.

    NBK

    The made-for-cable dramatic series "The Olympic Judo Scandals" continues despite its poor ratings. "Breaking Bad" it is not.


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    Bill M

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    Complaint against USA Judo

    Post by Bill M on Sun May 11, 2014 8:02 am

    This is truely a mess. Much of this has come up before, but not to this degree. USA Judo"s response was to be expected, they will tow the line until the very end. CK's comment about names being published without their approval is not on the mark. When you contribute to a "501 c3" your contribution becomes public by definition, for everything that a "501 c 3" is open to public review. Virtually everything that a "501 c3" does on a financial level is open, the law demands it. This is not me speaking it is what a CPA who specializes in "501 c3" organizations told us when we got our status as a "501 c3."

    This a a mess, but unfortunately USA Judo may just try to sweep this one under the mat as well. House keeping is in order, but doubtful it will be done.


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    Cichorei Kano

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    Re: Complaint against USA Judo

    Post by Cichorei Kano on Sun May 11, 2014 9:10 am

    Bill M wrote:CK's comment about names being published without their approval is not on the mark.  When you contribute to a "501 c3" your contribution becomes public by definition, for everything that a "501 c 3" is open to public review.  Virtually everything that a "501 c3" does on a financial level is open, the law demands it.  This is not me speaking it is what a CPA who specializes in "501 c3"  organizations told us when we got our status as a "501 c3."  

    I understand what you are saying, and I am not questioning, that some things are public information. I am also not a specialist on 501 c3-law, but the names in those documents are not limited to people who financially contributed. The fact that someone's financial contributions to a 501 c3 may well be public information, does not imply that one may publish private correspondence between two people without their consent, just like depending on the place state, country, one may also not tape or even photograph people individually and publish this information without their prior written approval. What is usually exempt from this is using something as evidence in court. However, that is something entirely different than publishing something irrespective in what form on the Internet. What you seem to forget is that this is not a case of the author of the document or the addressee releasing names of people who have financially contributed to 501 c3, but someone who seems to inappropriately have obtained access to a confidential document (which inter alia also happens to contain those names) and released that --whether he/she obtained access to it through interception, stealing or breaking rules of confidentiality. If you send me a private letter that contains only facts that are generally known to the public, such as for example, the Red Sox or LA Lakers won or lost this or that game, and someone else intercepts that letter, opens it, and publishes your letter on the Internet --which as said contains only those facts-- you think that is legal ? You believe that the fact and common knowledge that whether the Red Sox/LA Lakers won or lost is a legal justification for anyone wishing to do so to open your private letter to me that contains that information ?

    What is clear is that this is a letter sent by a private individual to an ethics committee, period. There is no proper channel that such correspondence is released to anyone else who does not fit within that chain, no matter how poignant, interesting or whatever the contents of those documents might be. One can't seriously claim that when documents are stolen or otherwise inappropriately obtained that those mentioned in, those who authored or those who are the addressee now also would have a duty to justify what is in there or their actions to those who inappropriately received the documents.

    Furthermore, if I am correct it is a crime under Federal law 39 CFR 310 and 320 to misappropriate mail, opening mail not intended for you, disclosing contents of mail, whereas Penal Code Title 7, Chapter 33 of the state of resident of the author defines the plethora of computer and internet-related crimes including intercepting electronic property, disclosing electronic private property, etc. I am sure that there is a similar law in the state of the addressee and of the person responsible for intercepting, leaking or without authorization publishing this information. This does not mean that what is alleged in the documents is untrue, or true or whatever, or should not be investigated by the proper channels. That is not the point. The author undertook all what is necessary to pursue that course of action.

    I would trust that some of the people who have had their privacy violated and confidentiality of mail breached will take the necessary legal action. One has to think, for example, about the safety of the author who now might now feel herself being threatened or retaliated against now that her private correspondence has been brought in the open.

    As to the facts, they need to be investigated in a serene climate by independent people and/or the proper authority who have the skills, knowledge, objectivity and training to do so, and who will bring this to a good end decanted of emotion and personal antipathies or any other form of prejudice.


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    "Nothing is as approved as mediocrity, the majority has established it and it fixes it fangs on whatever gets beyond it either way." (Blaise Pascal)
    "Quand on essaie, c'est difficile. Quand on n'essaie pas, c'est impossible" (Guess Who ?)
    "I am never wrong. Once I thought I was, and that was a mistake."
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    NBK

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    Re: Complaint against USA Judo

    Post by NBK on Sun May 11, 2014 10:14 am

    Bill M is right - a US public charity has strict guidelines to maintain its status. There are many ways to screw that up, and using that status to the benefit of the execs is an obvious one. The status is a public trust. A private charity has less scrutiny which can be why über rich use them to shelter wealth. All too many charities are run for the benefit of the boards and staff; the records of efficiency are made public every year. (And there are famous charities in which only about 10% of contributions make it to the intended recipients but you can be assured they are lawyered up to stay within the bounds of the law.).

    USA Judo ethics aside, there are fiduciary responsibilities that must be met. Letting lucrative contracts to executives in the organization and other conflicts of interest can result in its tax-exempt status being pulled. That of course greatly affects the ability to raise funds, much less the damage to the organization's reputation and that of its board and staff.

    I would expect a thorough investigation of the procurements to see how they were performed. Was there a competition?  Did Jose Rodriguez's multiple shell companies provide the best value, or win by what criteria? Did they perform as contacted?  What was the oversight? Who signed the contracts?  Was it a subordinate of Mr Rodriguez?  It's unlikely the board did.

    And if any of this true, you can bet that if someone simply perusing the 'approved' books, a few emails, and an internet connection can figure this much out, there's probably more that is not evident without digging and forensic accounting.

    There are reasons that many will not serve on boards without insurance. There are heavy responsibilities that go with the perks and status.

    * edit - here's the link to the 2012 USA Judo Form 990 - the annual report to the IRS (and the public). Note Section B, Policies, and the series of questions regarding policies concerning conflicts of interest, protection of whistleblowers, etc. USA Judo yr 2012 Form 990 That shows the IRS interest in policing such conflicts of interest.

    The staff base salaries are modest, ~$200k total, but the income is ~$2m a year. Expenses include $125k in 'consulting' fees, lots of travel, etc. The program expenses are considerable; I wonder if the gi purchases are included there. Operations is a place where the money flows and separate oversight can be tougher.


    Last edited by NBK on Sun May 11, 2014 11:03 am; edited 1 time in total
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    Udon

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    Re: Complaint against USA Judo

    Post by Udon on Sun May 11, 2014 10:54 am

    CK, you assume that the communications referred to by the author were obtained in an illegal/inappropriate manner. That's a pretty big assumption. Why not wait until more information is known before saying how the communications may have been obtained.
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    Heisenberg

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    Re: Complaint against USA Judo

    Post by Heisenberg on Sun May 11, 2014 1:20 pm

    How can an organization that is floating $100k at a time to make payroll and can't pay athletes and scholarships afford to give generous lines of credit to executives and not follow up on lucrative sponsorship offers? Oh, wait, they can't afford it. If even 10% of what is alleged in that document is true then the Board has some housekeeping to do.


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    Ranma

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    Re: Complaint against USA Judo

    Post by Ranma on Sun May 11, 2014 7:27 pm

    Glad I stopped renewing my membership. Wish others would do the same. One less crummy org to deal with.
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    Udon

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    Re: Complaint against USA Judo

    Post by Udon on Sun Aug 30, 2015 7:41 am

    It's been over a year since the issue of questionable behavior on the part of USAJudo executives was raised. Has this been resolved ? If so, does anyone know how?

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