Tracey wrote: “Due to some miscommunication with Brad prior to his 10/16/13 hearing, and in the interest of fairness because of it, we will schedule a new hearing for him.” That is an understatement. There was no communication. Brad did not “waive” his right to attend the hearing. He was not even notified about all the violations that were considered at the hearing. The Clubs’ hearing Bylaw, Article XI, was ignored. As the author of Article XI and as a past Club President, who probably suspended more pilots than all other Presidents combined, I can state with certainly that it was ignored.
Last week I notified Tracey and the other officers about the problems with the hearing. Some Club members, understandably, have been going to the GGNRA and USHPA because the officers haven’t enforced the rules. The rules must be enforced but they must be enforced correctly.
According to Tom White, Brad “waived” his right to attend the hearing. What actually happened was that Steve Rodrigues, who is not a Club officer, notified Brad about the hearing. Before the hearing Steve had talked to Tom, Tom told Steve he would consider a suspension of several weeks for Brad’s conduct at or after the meeting. Steve then contacted Brad and told him the suspension probably would be for a couple of weeks. Brad replied: “If that is what you are going to do, ok with me” and told Steve he would not attend the hearing. Instead of a couple of weeks, Brad was suspended for one year.
Tracey later claimed that Brad was suspended for his conduct at the meeting and “for 4 additional incidents that occurred recently that put other people and our site at risk.” Tracey never notified Brad about these incidents.
Another error was to punish Brad by suspending his flying privileges for one year for his misconduct at a Club meeting held several miles from Fort Funston. The proper remedy was to suspend or revoke his Club membership and not allow him to attend Club meetings.
Since the matter has been handled badly and the rules not followed, in the interest of fairness Tracey and Tom should consider not participating in the new hearing.