Saltfleet Haven Boat Club
Minutes Closed disciplinary meeting, 15 November 2018, 7.00pm SHBC Clubhouse
Pat McCarthy (Secretary)
Declared an interest on legal advice from RYA
Terry Daffin (unavailable). Proxy vote given to R Gilbert
Phil Allen (Commodore)
Daniel Jefferson (Vice Commodore) Chairman
John Carter (Trustee) Minutes
Mr William MacDonald (respondent)
Mr John Casey
Mr W MacDonald asked “Are all those present a full representation of the committee.” DJ replied “Yes” and read out the case against WM, 'Bringing the club into disrepute' ref: letter dated 27 May 2018.
WM read from his letter of 27 May 2018 and took the items in order.
WM “ The contact information for the website had to be deleted as requested by past members of the temporary committee and no one from the new committee offered new contact information” Mr Allen pointed out that no one knew that the information had been removed from the website. DJ commented that the committee could not have known the information had been removed, and why didn't WM tell the committee what he had done. WM said he had “no knowledge of who the new committee were, and saw no reason why he should have told the committee what he had done.” DJ said that WM had been approached by committee members asking for the website access details. WM stated that he could “only have given security information (password and username) at an arranged meeting with the new appointed “Webmaster”, dated and timed, and with a signed receipt.” WM also said he had been visited by Mr Harrison requesting access info but had not received emails from Mr Keery. WM stated that he deleted Joe Keery from his email contact list after the AGM to comply with GDPR regulations. WM went on to say that he had sent an email to Mr McCarthy containing the website access details on the morning of 28 May at 09.36, WM provided a screenshot of the email as evidence. The portion of the email where the date would normally appear had been obscured, and 28th May 2018 09.36 had been handwritten onto the screen shot. DJ asked WM if he had only sent the email to Mr McCarthy. WM confirmed that this was the case. (The screen shot showed that Mr Derner and Mr Casey (present) had been copied into the email).
Mr Allen read from the committee's letter to WM stating that the committee found it necessary to contact Heart Internet (web host) to regain control of the club's property and that WM was contacted by them and forced to release control. Because of WM's refusal to co-operate fully, the content of the website was lost and had to be rebuilt entirely, at a cost of over a hundred pounds. Mr Allen suggested to WM that these actions were injurious to the interests of the club. DJ asked WM if Heart Internet had contacted him directly. WM said that they had not.
Bringing the club into disrepute
WM sent a statement to SHBC members on the 22 May 2018 using a mailing list provided by Mr Derner. DJ read from the document Reasons for Mr MacDonald's Disciplinary Meeting (attached).
The first point being the accusation by WM that Mr McCarthy created a Facebook page without permission. DJ stated that in fact Mr McCarthy had obtained permission from the Commodore at the time (William Hill) on the 31 July 2014. WM did not respond. DJ went on to quote WM's letter in which WM stated that:
“I am told that a number of Committee members have now proposed developing the slipway as repair to negate any requirement to go through detailed formal procedure required by the Environment Agency”
DJ stated that this was not the case, and that the club had acted with full permission from two different people at the Environment Agency. DJ stated that the wording of the letter was intended to make the committee appear to the members as though it had acted illegally and without permission from the EA, bringing it into disrepute. DJ went on to say that WM could not have known what was discussed in the committee meetings and asked WM for the source of his information. WM told the committee that his statement was “an informative comment” and “it was not derogatory.” DJ stated that if it were the case that these statements were opinion only, why did you circulate it to the club members ?
DJ continued to read from the document Reasons for Mr MacDonald's Disciplinary Meeting
“The costs associated with that solicitor’s letter should be carried by McCarthy, not the club. I suggest that McCarthy issues confirmation that the cost of the solicitors letter he procured will not be borne by the club...”
DJ said the intention here was to suggest that Mr McCarthy had been using club funds to pay for a solicitor .WM responded that “this was an informative comment”.and that “the committee was biased”
DJ asked WM Why if you were concerned about this issue , didn't you approach the club? WM responded “because the club was not communicating with me.”
Returning to the issue of Facebook, DJ questioned WM about the assertions he made in his statement to members that Mr McCarthy had set up a Facebook page without the committees permission. (permission obtained 31 July 2014). WM stated that there was no record of such permission in any previous club minutes. DJ replied that all minutes from this period were extremely brief, and that WM had failed to check his facts. WM said that he had fact checked with the interim committee. DJ replied that there were more than six members of the club.
More discussion took place which was beyond the remit of the meeting and as such cannot be included in minutes.
WM closed by saying that the content of his statement to members was his personal opinion.
A ballot was taken and the result was 3 to 5 in favour of expelling Mr MacDonald which did not meet the required three quarters to pass the motion. Mr MacDonald offered to supply further information if required.
The meeting was closed at approx 9.00 pm.