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  • Originally posted by khobstetter View Post

    GOOD MORNING FROM Safe Sport OVERHAUL. Kathy Hobstetter here - the one you (dannyboy) says is "not the brightest star in the sky"...certainly been called worse than that in my lifetime. :-) . Before any conversation with this guy I did an in dept research of who he is, who he is working for, what he wants and why he is calling the people in the sport. I assure you I did not blindly go into that phone conversation.

    For Yankee Dutchess and anyone else who questions why there are calls from Safe Sport going around like this - The appeal for George has not happened yet, is coming up, and they have investigators following up after the NYT story as they get ready for the appeal and shoring up Safe Sports side..

    I posted the above information on OVERHAUL so people out here in the sport could have a heads up and would not be surprised if they got a call.... Thank you for following us over there.

    PS...we posted the GoFund me for expenses as we work at an OVERHAUL of Safe Sport for simply Fair process. Knocking on doors is truly a funny remark about the work. The cost of getting to Congresspeople in Iowa, Texas, Colorado, Washington DC, all over California and the west coast and other congressional offices will be, and IS, certainly costly. Printing pamphlets, documents and folders for Congressional members we are requesting help from is way costly. etc. We are doing a lot of work (which takes hours and hours and expense money) and appreciate ANYONE who cannot do the foot work but can pitch in a few dollars to help our wonderful sport of horses and support our project of Fair Sport. We do not voice in on the specific situations, we are rather working hard at the process..

    Thank you for your interest, concern and support if you wish.
    Kathy
    Kathy, I appreciate that your intent is to make the sport better even if I don't at this time share your concerns about SafeSport.

    To echo what another person said, I think if you want real input into the process, the path to success will lie in a few specific, constructive proposals that are in line with the spirit of the legislation - to protect athletes, especially young athletes.

    I think outrage that is in your group over Rob Gage and George Morris' cases is going to go exactly nowhere when you reach a larger audience of people who don't know them. It seems pretty clear to me at this point, for example, that Rob's case was fairly decided and that he was still engaging in problematic behavior quite recently.

    If you want to make a difference, there has to be acknowledgement that famous, capable, celebrated people in sport can be guilty of terrible things. And that's why the SafeSport legislation was written and passed in the first place.

    If you have those specific proposals, I do think you'd do well to float them here. No one wants an unfair process or to remove people who aren't guilty of misbehavior. We could help you shape them into something that can get traction, if they're good. You'll probably only get one shot to pitch to the senators you choose. Best go in already prepared with your best plan.

    Politically, as a Californian you'd probably do well to try for a meeting with Senator Feinstein's office. She's a key person for this legislation and she'll have a satellite office local to you. No need for plane tickets.

    You should know that if you are collecting money and spending it on lobbying members of Congress, that there are specific kinds of legal rules around that activity involving disclosure, taxes, etc. Find someone in your group who will figure out how to keep yourself compliant and who will ensure that everyone who receives money handles and tracks it in line with those obligations.
    If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket

    Comment


    • Originally posted by Horsegirl's Mom View Post

      I don't know if this is directed at me or KHobstetter.

      Speaking for myself, I have not reached a conclusion as to whether SafeSport's procedures are adequate or not. I am very eager to see more cases proceed to arbitration where they will be reviewed by JAMS arbitrators--who are generally former judges and much more learned and experienced than I am. It has been stated here and elsewhere that a high percentage of SS sanctions have been overturned in arbitration, which would certainly be cause for concern. I have not been able to determine the truth of that statement.

      Having reviewed the SS flowchart, the SS arbitration rules, and given my familiarity with normal JAMS arbitration rules, these are my concerns:

      1. It is unclear when the accused sees all the evidence (for example, witness statements) against him. That does not appear on the flowchart.

      2. The arbitration procedure does not allow any discovery. This is contrary to normal JAMS procedure, so SS has made a decision to deny the accused discovery. Discovery is considered crucial to fairness in both civil and criminal litigation, so this is a significant concern.

      3. Lack of cross-examination--again, an essential tool in determining the credibility of a testifying witness.

      4. Lack of subpoena power. This could prevent the accused from bringing in potentially exculpatory witnesses if they don't want to show up voluntarily.

      These are protections afforded in any civil (not just criminal) trial, even in small claims cases! I think we can all agree the consequences of a SS sanction are at least as serious as a small claims action, so these issues do nag at me.

      The question of whether the accused has a "legal right" to these protections is somewhat of a red herring. I believe there are good legal arguments that he does, for reasons discussed pages and pages ago. However, even if this is not the case, I think we can all agree that we want any organization we are part of to have fair and reasonable procedures. So it is legitimate for us to discuss what meets the standard of "fair and reasonable" to the accused and the alleged victim.

      In the interest of empathy and considering all points of view, I would also suggest we conduct the following thought experiment. I get the sense this board is overwhelmingly women. Thus, we naturally identify more with victims than perpetrators--indeed, many of us have been victims. But any of us could have a son or husband accused under SS. Ask yourself, what procedures would you feel are reasonable in that situation? What procedures would give you confidence that the outcome will be correct? Borrowing from the philosopher John Rawls, putting yourself in each possible role and asking what you would want in that situation is a powerful way of determining what is fair.

      I have a friend whose son was accused of rape; the son faced an "expedited" disciplinary procedure that got him kicked out of school with few procedural protections. A later civil suit revealed that there were plenty of witnesses who would (and did) undermine the girl's story, and her son was exonerated, but not before he had lost two years of his life.
      Horsegirl’s Mom brings up the claim, without endorsing it, that many SafeSport bans have been overturned on appeal. If this were true, it would indeed suggest that the SafeSport investigations are shoddy, and people are bring banned without substantial evidence.

      It was Bonnie Navin who in a post on her own Facebook page, subsequently reposted to ISWG and other anti-SafeSport groups, stated that in the “beginning”, “SafeSport was lifetime banning everyone” and that when they went to arbitration “90%” were overturned.

      Despite requests for documentation of these supposed statements of fact, she never provides any documentation at all. Doesn’t even clarify whether she is referring to all sports or just equestrian, or the time period. It seems extremely unlikely to me that either statement is true, even as a crude approximation, and I think it is irresponsible of her to throw out such statements without being willing to document them.

      So I have completely discounted the claim that most bans are overturned on appeal. But willing to reconsider instantly if shown documentation.

      On the other hand, I really like the fact that you are bringing up very specific, well defined issues. I think they are well worth discussing.

      I also agree that the university administrative processes dealing with sex assault have in some cases led to (arguably) serious injustices. Instead of bashing SafeSport, as ISWG, and SafeSport Overhaul are doing, I think that it would be extremely useful to have a discussion of what specific changes to what specific parts of the process would better protect the accused.

      The ISWG people are right in saying that even the guilty deserve a fair hearing. Unlike them, I don’t think at the moment that the SafeSport process is unfair to the accused, but I would be in favor of strengthening protections for the accused (as long as the stronger protections did not significantly degrade SafeSport’s ability to weed out the bad guys.)
      Last edited by YankeeDuchess; Aug. 25, 2019, 09:35 PM.

      Comment


      • Originally posted by Horsegirl's Mom View Post
        . . .
        So it is legitimate for us to discuss what meets the standard of "fair and reasonable" to the accused and the alleged victim.
        . . .
        I think this one sentence makes your viewpoint very clear. Because by your choice to use "alleged victim", you are insinuating that these individuals have not suffered abuse, and are therefore lying or making false reports to SS. Why would you not have phrased it as "victim and alleged perpetrator"? I find that curious.
        ~~ How do you catch a loose horse? Make a noise like a carrot! - British Cavalry joke ~~

        Comment


        • Originally posted by williepaws View Post

          I only read the forum and never comment but I came across an article about "lifetime" bans being lifted on 2 taekwondo Olympic coaches who had been banned early last year by SS. Interesting. Reinstatement due to arbitration. https://www.orangecountycoast.com/su...reinstatement/
          That case is worth a serious look by anyone because among other things it seems terribly likely that the Lopez brothers should be banned. What happened is that the witnesses decided not to participate in the arbitration in favor of their own civil suit.

          If anything, it seems like SafeSport may have failed to adequately bring and defend their case in front of the arbitrators. Or it may be that the arbitrators sucked (they do sometimes) and weren't appropriate to hear the case. But it does not at all look like the Lopez brothers were improperly or unfairly accused, unfortunately.

          The stories and the list of accusations by the survivors are pretty jaw-dropping.

          Jean Lopez likely drugged, and then molested and had Gilbert perform oral sex while they traveled to a World Cup event in Germany in 2003, Safe Sport said. Jean Lopez also told Gilbert he wanted to leave his wife and have “Olympic babies” with her, according to Safe Sport and court documents.

          While the women reported Jean Lopez to Safe Sport and cooperated with the center’s investigation, they declined on the advice of their attorneys to testify at the arbitration hearing.
          Here's what Sports Illustrated says about them:
          https://www.si.com/olympics/2018/09/...onduct-lawsuit

          Joslin lost her first-round match in Bonn the next day. After returning home, she decided to leave taekwondo. Even now, she says, “I miss it so bad, but I can’t do it. It’s too broken.”
          The Lopez brothers have a stature in their sport pretty similar to GM or Bela Karolyi.

          If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket

          Comment


          • "Not the brightest star in the sky", yes that was my post. I stand by it. Especially when you write about how diligently you "researched" the guy who called you and now you now want to warn us that he or someone like him may be calling us too.

            No, I certainly won't help pay your travel expenses so you can personally hand a Congressional staff member a folder full of god knows what. You can mail, or email your Representatives.

            Comment


            • Members of Congress find it most helpful to hear from their direct constituents. There is no cost whatsoever to meet with them. I've personally walked into both my representative and senator's offices. It cost me about a quarter tank of gas. I took a signed petition, which cost me very little in printer ink and the door to door to get signatures cost me nothing. I didn't need a pamphlet. I've found in most cases an informational pamphlet tends to be taken as an insult.

              You will want to be armed with facts about how SS currently works, which steps have failed, and why, and how EXACTLY you propose the process be changed, and why. You'll need well respected experts that are willing to be called on or to actually write the process you wish to see as well. You can't just say "due process," "no cross examination of the fragile victims!" and expect to make any impression whatsoever, which is what appears to most of us to be happening right now.

              Comment


              • Originally posted by Khobstetter
                The cost of getting to Congresspeople in Iowa, Texas, Colorado, Washington DC, all over California and the west coast and other congressional offices will be, and IS, certainly costly.
                Um...there is the telephone. And email. Oh, and Congress, which is where most of them hang out a lot.

                Comment


                • I've had no problem getting responses from my Representatives. I've phoned and emailed.
                  A plane ticket, hotel etc... was not required.

                  I received a response to an email I sent to Senator John McCain a few years ago, and I don't live in Arizona. He was great. I was very impressed.

                  Comment


                  • skydy BTW, I didn't say I don't agree with you - actually, I do think it's a harebrained idea. I just don't like to have someone (like khobstetter) put words in my mouth.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by YankeeDuchess View Post

                      Horsegirl’s Mom brings up the claim, without endorsing it, that many SafeSport bans have been overturned on appeal. If this were true, it would indeed suggest that the SafeSport investigations are shoddy, and people are bring banned without substantial evidence.

                      It was Bonnie Navin who in a post on her own Facebook page, subsequently reposted to ISWG and other anti-SafeSport groups, stated that in the “beginning”, “SafeSport was lifetime banning everyone” and that when they went to arbitration “90%” were overturned.

                      Despite requests for documentation of these supposed statements of fact, she never provides any documentation at all. Doesn’t even clarify whether she is referring to all sports or just equestrian, or the time period. It seems extremely unlikely to me that either statement is true, even as a crude approximation, and I think it is irresponsible of her to throw out such statements without being willing to document them.

                      So I have completely discounted the claim that most bans are overturned on appeal. But willing to reconsider instantly if shown documentation.

                      On the other hand, I really like the fact that you are bringing up very specific, well defined issues. I think they are well worth discussing.

                      I also agree that the university administrative processes dealing with sex assault have in some cases led to (arguably) serious injustices. Instead of bashing SafeSport, as ISWG, and SafeSport Overhaul are doing, I think that it would be extremely useful to have a discussion of what specific changes to what specific parts of the process would better protect the accused.

                      The ISWG people are right in saying that even the guilty deserve a fair hearing. Unlike them, I don’t think at the moment that the SafeSport process is unfair to the accused, but I would be in favor of strengthening protections for the accused (as long as the stronger protections did not significantly degrade SafeSport’s ability to weed out he bad guys.)
                      Thanks for the reasoned response, Yankee Duchess.

                      It has occurred to me that one possible reason SS has dispensed with certain procedural protections and created a (relatively) expedited procedure is because of the immense backlog of accusations. SS may feel the only way to get through the huge caseload is by truncating certain procedures (like eliminating discovery). That in itself raises interesting ethical issues, such as how to balance fairness toward a single accused versus the potential safety of many. These are not easy questions.

                      As for how many sanctions are overturned in arbitration, SS has that information and in the interest of transparency, they should publish it. However, I suspect as cases proceed, it will become obvious (through press articles etc.) how well the SS sanctions are holding up. I don't have a prediction at this point. I am interested to see what develops.

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by dannyboy View Post
                        skydy BTW, I didn't say I don't agree with you - actually, I do think it's a harebrained idea. I just don't like to have someone (like khobstetter) put words in my mouth.
                        I don't blame you. Especially annoying to have a person that is attempting to organize a massive review of safe sport, make that sort of mistake. Doesn't bode well for dotted I s and crossed T s.
                        Last edited by skydy; Aug. 25, 2019, 09:00 PM.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by Horsegirl's Mom View Post

                          The flowchart is on the SafeSport website, under "Response and Resolution Process." Perhaps you may wish to study the website more closely?

                          I note you do not address any of my specific concerns. I welcome open-minded and reasoned discussion.
                          Hello Horsegirl's Mom - do you have any specific questions on the SafeSport policies and procedures? I would be more than happy to answer them to the best of my ability!

                          Thank you for the beautifully stated suggestions, poltroon - I agree 100%. I would also add that the Center looks at two primary factors when selecting a sanction - severity of the violation & likelihood to re-offend.

                          For example, let's say there is a now 45 year old coach who has had several romantic and sexual relationships with his adult students over the past decade (all the students were in their late 20's to early 30's at the onset of the relationships & the relationships were consensual). The coach was reported by another coach at his gym and openly admits, alongside his former students, to the relationships. IMO this case would never lead to a lifetime ban, even though there is a pretty high likelihood of re-offending, since the severity of the violation does not rise to a high enough level. I don't even know if SafeSport would really look into a case like this, TBH.

                          Now, let's say that a 75 year old coach is found "liable", by SafeSport, of raping a 10 year old student 45 years ago. The evidence includes a recorded confession from the coach via a phone call with the survivor and a written confession from the coach via an email sent to their brother. There is no evidence that this coach has abused anyone since. IMO this case would certainly lead to a lifetime ban. Even though there *appears* to be a low likelihood to re-offend, the extreme severity of the violation is more than enough to warrant the sanction.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by skydy View Post

                            I don't blame you. Especially annoying to have a "lawyer" make that kind of mistake isn't it?
                            khobstetter is a southern California trainer, not a lawyer, FWIW.
                            If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket

                            Comment


                            • Horsegirl's Mom have you ever asked your questions to Safe Sport? Or asked your congressman? Just curious. It seems you like to stomp your feet and scream for change on social media rather than asking TPTB.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by poltroon View Post

                                khobstetter is a southern California trainer, not a lawyer, FWIW.
                                Sorry, I have confused her with the lawyer that is also involved with this mess. I'll edit.

                                Comment


                                • Originally posted by williepaws View Post

                                  I only read the forum and never comment but I came across an article about "lifetime" bans being lifted on 2 taekwondo Olympic coaches who had been banned early last year by SS. Interesting. Reinstatement due to arbitration. https://www.orangecountycoast.com/su...reinstatement/
                                  Uhh maybe read this article....

                                  Comment


                                  • Originally posted by poltroon View Post

                                    khobstetter is a southern California trainer, not a lawyer, FWIW.
                                    Was in the past, but doesn't currently operate a training business, as far as I know. I think she last worked out of the OC Fairgrounds as Fox Pointe Farm. Involved in sport governance and publicity, I think she owns iJump Sports. At least at one time worked for Phelps Media.
                                    The Evil Chem Prof

                                    Comment


                                    • Originally posted by Peggy View Post

                                      Was in the past, but doesn't currently operate a training business, as far as I know. I think she last worked out of the OC Fairgrounds as Fox Pointe Farm. Involved in sport governance and publicity, I think she owns iJump Sports. At least at one time worked for Phelps Media.
                                      Jeez, you'd think she'd know a better way to contact Representatives about her group's complaint about SafeSport.
                                      Wasn't Phelps Media the source of the George Morris "statement" emails?

                                      Comment


                                      • Originally posted by FiSk123 View Post

                                        Hello Horsegirl's Mom - do you have any specific questions on the SafeSport policies and procedures? I would be more than happy to answer them to the best of my ability!

                                        Why yes, thank you for offering!

                                        As a preliminary question, are you affiliated with SafeSport? Can we take your answers to these questions as authoritative statements on how SafeSport works?

                                        Here are my questions:

                                        1. When does the accused see the evidence, including witness statements, that will be used against him?

                                        2. Does the initial investigation or the arbitration proceeding allow for any discovery? [The rules clearly state no, but perhaps you will tell us otherwise.] If not, why not?

                                        3. Does the initial investigation or the arbitration proceeding allow the accused's attorney to cross-examine any witnesses?

                                        4. Does the arbitrator have any power to compel witnesses to come and testify (i.e., like a subpoena)? If not, how can the accused get a reluctant witness to testify as to the facts they know--like if the witness says they "don't want to get involved"?

                                        5. How many SafeSport sanctions have gone to arbitration, and how many of those have been upheld?

                                        Comment


                                        • Originally posted by skydy View Post

                                          Jeez, you'd think she'd know a better way to contact Representatives about her group's complaint about SafeSport.
                                          Wasn't Phelps Media the source of the George Morris "statement" emails?
                                          Indeed it was.

                                          The Evil Chem Prof

                                          Comment

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