I Have No Faith the USPSA Board of Directors Will Do Anything About Mike Foley

Ben BerryBlog

  1. Petition For The Removal of Mike Foley
  2. I Have No Faith the USPSA Board of Directors Will Do Anything About Mike Foley
  3. Mike Foley Has (At Least) 155,000 Reasons Per Year To Fight Any Attempts To Remove Him
  4. What To Do If The Board Does Not Remove Mike Foley

Yesterday’s post about USPSA President Mike Foley threatening me with a lifetime ban over a joke on Instagram was a review of facts, supported by screenshots. This post is more supposition and guesswork.

First, let’s address what happened back in 2018. A board meeting was held to address the issue. It lasted 90 minutes the first night, and just over 6 hours the next day. The entire board meeting was conducted in “Executive Session” which is a get-out-of-accountability-free card, where no notes are taken and what is discussed must be kept confidential. According to the minutes, Mike Foley, the instigator of the entire crisis, was included the entire time. (The subject of discussion is typically asked to leave for the duration of the executive session discussion.)

After their 8 hours of deliberation, the board unanimously voted to resolve the issue by releasing a statement with no further action taken. The statement released, in full, is as follows:

The Board of Directors of the United States Practical Shooting Association has been actively engaged with a recent issue regarding poor judgment, language and tone used in recent communications by our President. The Board appreciates the high volume of members who reached out to us with their concerns, suggestions and overwhelming support.

The USPSA Board has not delayed in addressing this extremely serious situation. The language used was lacking in good judgment, and the tenor of the conversation was disappointing, to say the least. We strive for, and expect, better.

The Board has taken a statement from the President. We have discussed the matter at length, and examined a spectrum of possible actions. We have decided on a set of outcomes focused on ensuring this will not happen again.

The long standing policy of United States Practical Shooting Association is to adhere to all Federal, State, and Local employment privacy laws. Discussion or public release of any information, other than as required by law, as it relates to an employee of the organization, would be inappropriate and at minimum violate USPSA employment policies and practices. As such, a discussion of disciplinary actions taken, if any, would be in conflict with those sound policies.

The Board recognizes we must do better as an organization. We will use this as a ‘teachable moment’and an opportunity to better educate ourselves with more positive methods of social media interaction, and all other communication, to the benefit of our members and the organization as a whole. Professional training will be provided for officers and employees, to further educate us on the best practices in communicating through social media and all other media. USPSA’s legal counsel will also advise us regarding the legal implications and obligations of statements we make as officers of USPSA.

This is an endeavor the Board is committed to.

The Board of Directors, United States Practical Shooting Association

To wit: we’re not going to do anything, and we’re going to hide behind executive session so we don’t have to give you details on all the things we’re not doing. The President and the Board are only interested in covering their asses, not getting sued, and making sure they haven’t broken any laws.

And the last three years have shown that the result of this “response” was exactly nothing. Mike Foley has stayed in power, been re-elected, and continued to bully competitors and rolling out sweeping changes to the sport that nobody has been asking for. (How’s the EZ-change “Evergreen” Rulebook working out?)

Which bring us to the present day. The latest story is about an argument that Mike Foley got into, again provoked by a competitor prodding him about being thin-skinned, which he allegedly responded to by insulting the competitor and then challenging him to physical combat to settle it.

Once again, there was a board meeting, although this time, no executive session. The meeting lasted 30 minutes. The Board voted to have “USPSA’s Attorney Mrs. Karen Funston” oversee an “investigation” into the “alleged incident.” Mrs. Funston’s profile on the law firm’s website touts her skills at “advising her clients in long-term planning and employs an innovative approach to organizational structures and transactions” and says she “advises businesses, individuals and organizations in long term planning and routine transactions as well as assisting clients when faced with a crisis”. I don’t know the first thing about Mrs. Funston. She’s probably a very pleasant person and good at her job. Perhaps she’ll turn out to be a bulldog who jumps into the investigation and gets the bottom of it, and turns in a damning report that leaves the Board with no choice but to oust the sitting President.

But I kinda doubt it.

I foresee a law firm being brought in to make sure the Corporation doesn’t get sued or otherwise put at risk by this action. She’ll probably give Foley some advice (like don’t challenge someone to mutual combat, even if it’s legal in the jurisdiction), write up a report in a few weeks, and just like in 2018 the whole thing will be forgotten by the time the election rolls around in 2023.

I hope I’m wrong.

But I’m not holding my breath.

Any of the 8 Area Directors could put forward a motion, under Bylaw 7.7 to hold a meeting to discuss the removal. Not one has.

7.7 Removal from Office: Any elected officer or Director may be removed, with or without cause, by a motion for removal filed by a Director with the President and following compliance with the procedures set forth below. If the motion for removal is against the President, then the Board of Directors shall select a chairman who shall preside at a meeting of the Board of Directors convened for the purpose of acting upon the motion for removal. The challenged officer or Director shall have the opportunity to be present at such meeting and to defend himself against such action, but must withdraw before vote is taken. To be approved and become effective, a motion for removal of an officer or Director shall require a three-fourths majority affirmative vote of the Board of Directors.

The Board could call their own witnesses at this meeting, or otherwise gather evidence and testimony. There’s nothing in the bylaws about enlisting an external law firm and conducting an investigation. To investigate what? No motion for any action has been put forward.

What’s the harm in putting forth the motion? Even if the motion fails to get the 6 votes required, at least there can be open discussion of what happened, and each Director can go on record as voting yes or no. (Perhaps that’s what they all want to avoid?)

I will be the first to admit that my history does not allow me to be completely objective here, but I want to know the truth as best we can find it out. But dithering like this appears to be an effort to accomplish nothing while appearing to be doing something. Delegate to a subcommittee, set up an investigation, say you can’t talk about it for a while as things quiet down, then release the report and move on.

I’ll say it one last time. I hope I’m wrong.

But I doubt it.