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ARRL Board of Directors Publicly Censures Southwestern Division Director


Acting on a recommendation of its Ethics and Elections Committee, the ARRL Board of Directors has publicly censured one of its own — ARRL Southwestern Director Dick Norton, N6AA. On an 11-3 vote, with one member abstaining, the Board adopted a resolution to censure Norton for criticizing the ARRL Code of Conduct for Board members at an Amateur Radio gathering “by virtue of his characterizations thereof, thus criticizing publicly the collective action of the Board of Directors adopting said Code of Conduct and drawing the Board’s collective decision making into disrepute.” The resolution cited “multiple portions of the Code of Conduct” that Norton was found to have violated. The Board’s action related to a complaint filed with the Ethics and Elections Committee by an ARRL member.


The Board met in special session by teleconference on November 14 to consider the matter. President Rick Roderick, K5UR, conducted the session; ARRL CEO and Board Secretary Tom Gallagher, NY2RF, and ARRL General Counsel Chris Imlay, W3KD, were among those who attended the evening online gathering.


According to the resolution, fellow Board members had cautioned Norton that “his actions and his manner” in criticizing the Code of Conduct for Board members were “not acceptable and cannot continue, with no notable change in his behavior since that time.”


Norton had been provided with a copy of the Ethics and Elections Committee resolution, dated September 7, 2017, and responded to it in writing, accompanied by statements of four ARRL members who supported his response.


The Board found that Norton’s violation of the ARRL Code of Conduct had “caused harm to the League” and provided sufficient cause to publicly censure Norton for “unacceptable behavior as an ARRL Board member.”


“Mr. Norton is admonished by the Board that no further, similar behavior will be tolerated,” the resolution concluded.


The minutes of the special ARRL Board of Directors meeting have been posted on the ARRL website. 



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