From The Blog
We – Dave Morley, Jerry McGee, Beth Zampino & Amanda Mole – personally offer our explanation to the membership on why we voted for the disclosure of the following information.
There has been persistent demand within the KICA membership for transparency regarding the extraordinary expenditures due to the settlement with former KICA Chief Operating Officer Jimmy Bailey and the related subsequent investigation (over $400,000). The negotiation and settlement were done with the knowledge and approval of the board. As the community commences voting on new directors, it deserves to be aware of the circumstances leading to those actions.
On January 10, 2022, the Board considered the community interest in greater transparency. One pathway would be to say we will continue to fully shield the situation and only look forward, without any further information as to those circumstances or the related board expansion decisions intended primarily to protect and preserve valued staff. The alternative would be to transparently provide information to the membership so they can be better informed as to the challenges and circumstances the Island has grappled with and now faces particularly as they consider the important votes that they are soon to cast on new directors for this Board. On the 10th, we voted that transparency was the preferred option. It was a divided vote of 4-3. However, the majority of the Board decided that providing more information would be the best path forward. We have full confidence that given as much information as possible, the community will make good decisions going forward.
As previously disclosed (September 17, 2021 notification to the community), “The report found no evidence of a legally actionable “hostile work environment.” However, the report concluded that some KICA employees were affected by factors leading up to Mr. Bailey’s resignation and put them at potential risk of attrition.” What was not reported, at that time, is that the investigator also found that the evidence supported many of Jimmy Bailey’s allegations.
It is important for the community to understand the process the Board undertook. When faced with serious allegations, the Board felt compelled to investigate. It was careful to ask the HR Committee of the Board to run the investigation. The committee was made up of its Chair (a board member who is not the Chair of the KICA Board) and two members of the community. The investigating lawyer had the HR Committee as his sole client and shared no information about the investigatory process or any findings until the full report was released to the remaining Board members. It was critical that this was an independent investigation.
As part of the investigation, employees were promised that the Board would do everything within its means to protect confidentiality of participants in the process. Management warned the Board that there was fear of retaliation if names were released. Therefore, as we release Jimmy’s complaint the supporting emails are not included and employee names are redacted. However, as stated above, the independent investigator concluded that many of Jimmy’s assertions are supported by evidence. One area the investigator did not probe was defamation. He did not because the weight of the evidence of other allegations, it would be expensive and Jimmy had signed a release from defamation. He did state that if Jimmy pressed his claims in court, there was enough evidence that a jury trial would be a near certainty and once in front of a jury there is no predicting the outcome. He reinforced that it was a wise decision to settle with Jimmy because the cost of the trial, independent of the result, would be higher than the settlement with Jimmy.
There has also been talk that the Board members that voted against the release of the grievance, did so because the full report was not released. This is simply not true. Never in the discussion about releasing the report was this raised. There was never an offer to vote in favor if the supporting documents were included.
Finally, we ask you to consider, after reading Jimmy’s complaint, is this the work environment we want for Kiawah?
Board Directors Dave Morley (chair), Jerry McGee (vice-chair), Beth Zampino and Amanda Mole
Jimmy Bailey’s Complaint Letter
Read Jimmy’s Bailey’s Complaint Letter
Directors’ Dissenting Statements
According to Article III Section 12 of KICA’s bylaws, the dissenting directors may share their view with the membership.
Read David DeStefano’s Dissent
Read Alex Fernandez’s (treasurer) Dissent