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Ethics and Elections Committee Actions

The Ethics and Election (E&E) Committee is responsible for applying guidelines for ethical conduct by ARRL officials, determine eligibility of candidates, and supervise the balloting of elections. The full responsibilities as specified by the ARRL By-Laws can be seen at the end of this page.

The E&E Committee members (during 2017):

  • Tom Frenaye, K1KI, New England Division Director, Chairman
  • Kermit Carlson, W9XA, Central Division Director
  • Jim Pace, K7CEX, Northwestern Division Director

The members of this committee are determined by the President and changes from year to year so that it will not include any Director up for re-election that year.

What lead to the creation of the new Code of Conduct?

A description of what led to the new Code of Conduct being adopted in January 2017 is be found in this E&E report.  Specifically:

“The Committee spent considerable time discussing the material contained in a press release from a Director while analyzing the balance between our members need to know and the propriety of protecting information during a negotiation process. We found our By Laws and Guidelines both unclear and in conflict and urge a review and possible rewrite of both for clarity.”

The referenced director was David Woolweaver, K5RAV, from the West Gulf Division, and the “press release” was his Division Newsletter, here, dated April, 2016, which included this statement:

“H.R. 1301, the Amateur Radio Parity Act, has passed the House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology.  Rep Greg Walden-R Oregon, W7EQI, is the Chairman of the Subcommittee.  It now waits for a hearing before the full House Energy and Commerce Committee.  There have been two behind the scenes compromises to the text of the bill made by the ARRL’s Washington group made up of ARRL’s Chief Counsel Chris Imlay, W3KD, and Mike Lisenco, Hudson Division Director, N2YBB.

(emphasis added)

N2YBB and W3KD were apparently displeased with the disclosure of “behind the scenes compromises,” but there was little they could do about it, because there was no limitation on what Board members could say in public, at the time.  The new Code of Conduct was created to ensure that something like that never happened again.

The Case of Doug Rehman, K4AC

From the same E&E Report:

“Certain specific campaign statements and actions by a candidate for Director were challenged by an ARRL member and reviewed by the Committee. The E&E Committee members found that the alleged actions and statements were in violation of League election standards. A request for the removal of the statements was extended to the candidate as well as an advisory to refrain from those certain specific actions. The advisories were defiantly not heeded and the candidate was declared disqualified. The former candidate then requested a review by the full Board of Directors and the Board exercised their option to decline the request.”

This director was Doug Rehman, K4AC, running for reelection in the Southeastern division in 2016.  His QRZ.COM looked like this at the time.

The E&E Committee declared him “disqualified,” which means the other candidate ran unopposed and replaced him.

(Nine months earlier Doug was nominated for ARRL President, to run against K5UR.   He was nominated by N6AA and got four votes.)

K4AC’s side of the story is documented here: .  Scroll down to follow the timeline.  Note that K4AC made motions to make the ARRL board more transparent, and to change the E&E committee from being hand-picked by the ARRL President (K5UR), to being elected by the board.  These motions did not pass.

The case of Mike Lee AA6ML

Southeastern division Vice Director Mike Lee is very much into public-service communication and proposed a venture with Icom America whereby he outfitted a remarkably impressive interoperability trailer not involving Amateur Radio. It was all commercial gear and land mobile / public-safety bands and modes. Before delving into it, Mike approached the E&E Committee (then consisting of Williams, Blocksome and Olson) as to whether this venture would present any conflict-of interest or appearance-of-conflict issue. Mike asserts that they told him that, since land mobile was a different market, there was no problem and he could proceed and could even show it at Ham events. He did proceed, and Icom spent a considerable sum logo-wrapping the trailer and advertising its existence.

A month later, after Mike had filed as a candidate for re-election, he received a letter from E&E saying that his project would constitute a conflict unless he agreed to never take it to any event where Hams or a competing manufacturer might be present. That would include APCO conventions, a primary target audience for the project. Now that the commitment had been made, Mike was left with no choice but to resign and to withdraw as a candidate. His opponent was thus “declared elected.”

The Case of Robert Famiglio, K3RF

In 2017, Director candidate (and Vice Director) K3RF, an ARRL volunteer counsel representing a client on an antenna case, was disqualified from running for Director, due to an “undisclosed conflict of interest.” The E&E committee declared W3TOM the new director, with no explanation given.  See:

For K3RF’s side of the story, see:

K3RF Director Application

K3RF Cumulative Correspondence

Duties of the Ethics and Elections Committee (from ARRL By-Laws 37-42)

Ethics and Elections Committee

41.  There shall be an Ethics and Elections Committee composed of three Directors, who may also serve on other committees without restriction. The Committee shall:

  •  Apply guidelines for ethical conduct by ARRL officials adopted by the Board and make recommendations to the Board in specific cases to address noncompliance with those guidelines
  •  Determine eligibility of candidates for Director and Vice Director, including but not limited to receipt and review of petitions and certification of eligible candidates
  • Certify a nominee’s eligibility under Article 12 to fill a Vice Director vacancy under Article 7
  • Supervise the balloting for Director and Vice Director, including but not limited to review of all campaign statements and materials, oversight of the balloting process in accordance with Bylaw 20, and releasing the election results
  • Advise the Chief Executive Officer on, and recommend to the Board standards for, Section Manager elections
  • Receive and evaluate disclosures by Board Members, Vice Directors and candidates for the office of Director or Vice Director of actual or potential conflicts of interest and report its findings to the Board of Directors
  • Make factual findings regarding the presence or absence of conflicts of interest and report those findings to the Board of Directors together with any recommendations to address such ascertained conflicts
  • Periodically consider whether and how the ARRL Conflict of Interest Policy should be revised or amended to better meet its objectives and report to the Board on its recommendations
  • Decisions of the Ethics and Elections Committee may be reviewed by the Board of Directors upon the written request of any candidate for that office or five or more Directors. Review shall be limited to the materials submitted to the Ethics and Elections Committee. A majority of the Board of Directors is required to change any decision of the Ethics and Elections Committee.
  • With respect to the eligibility of candidates for Director and Vice Director, the Ethics and Elections Committee shall apply the applicable procedural and substantive provisions of the Conflict of Interest Policy set forth in these Bylaws.
  • The members of the committee shall be annually appointed by the President at the Annual Meeting from among those Directors not subject to election during the year of service. The President shall designate the chairman of the Committee.