April 17, 2012

Leagues Challenge Disenfranchisement with Independent Auditor

This is one of those movies where you think it is the end except it may just be the intermission.  Several leagues have been emboldened by Judge Koh's ruling that the USACA Constitution states that it is the Independent Auditor who gets to decide who can vote and who cannot.   Many of them submitted their challenge ahead of the election while several others have submitted it post election.  That is understandable as none of the disenfranchised leagues knew they have this option until Judge Koh's ruling on April 13th, hours before the election.  Before that USACA insisted that the Independent Auditor only had a "ministerial" role meaning  "that which is done under the authority of a superior" with the superior being the USACA Board.

USACA, of course, using their lawyers is still telling the Independent Auditor how to do this which begs USACA's understanding of the word "independent"  and appreciation for Judge Koh's ruling.  USACA's position is that what they did in terms of compliance, and I would say unlawfully, should be a starting point of the Independent Auditor's work.    What the USACA constitution seems to say is that the Independent Auditor has the authority to determine who are legitimate voters and never does it say that the USACA Board can advise the Auditor on their opinion of who are legitimate.

Here are all the challenges in front of the Auditor:

  1. WMCB, an Atlantic league allowed to vote even by the USACA Board, is challenging as to who got the ballot in WMCB which turns out to be someone who is friendly with the Board and not the rightful President of WMCB
  2. Several leagues (nine) are challenging their denial of right-to-vote and they have done so pre-election.
  3. Several other leagues (five and growing) are doing the same but done so post-election.  (USACA's lawyers are saying these should not be allowed as they are "too late," a vacuous argument given the Independent Auditor is the sole authority per the Constitution to determine member legitimacy.)

Mr. Ken Smith, of Keefe, McCollough and Company, who is the CPA assigned to this has a very important role.  He has to operate independent of what USACA and its lawyers say and what the other side says.  He has to take a principled look at the Constitution and decide standards for who is a legitimate member and who is not.  Just because the USACA Board decided that one league or the other is eligible to vote does not make it so.  

It is my view that if such a fair and principled exercise were done by the Independent Auditor, it would be best thing to have happened in US cricket in recent times.   Lets have the elections again assuming the those can vote by secret ballot is different.  And lets accept whoever gets elected as a result.   That is democracy.  What went on on April 14, 2012 was clearly not.

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