For those of you heading to SCI convention

Discussion in 'News & Announcements' started by Blue Skies Hunting Adventures, Jan 30, 2014.

  1. Blue Skies Hunting Adventures

    Blue Skies Hunting Adventures AH Enthusiast

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    For those of you going to the SCI convention, I'm am just learning of this news and maybe those that are going can get more info on this. I am posting a letter below from Dr. Larry Rudolph and his website of www.reformsafariclub.com

    Safari Club International Board of Directors c/o Ronald J. Stolkin Fennemore Craig 2394 East Camelback Road, Suite 600 Phoenix, AZ 85016-3429 Re: Fiduciary duty Dear Board Members of Safari Club International, The purpose of this letter is to formally inform the Board of Directors of Safari Club International (Board) of the ongoing misconduct and self-dealing carried out by the members of the Safari Club International, particularly members of the Board of Inquiry (BOI), the Executive Committee (EC), and several members of the Past Presidents council; and to request that the Board undertake a thorough investigation of the same. As we more fully set forth below, the BOI and EC have lost sight of the stated mission of Safari Club International (SCI), protecting the right to hunt, and have instead wasted the resources of SCI pursuing personal vendettas for the purpose of maintaining political power that is exercised to the detriment of the members of SCI.

    Because of the rampant misconduct that is more fully discussed in this letter, we are demanding that the Board of SCI properly discharge its fiduciary duty by immediately dismissing each member of SCI Leadership that has failed in the discharge of their fiduciary duty to SCI. At a minimum, we demand that the Board undertake a thorough investigation of the allegations contained in this letter. Such an investigation should be undertaken by an outside, independent entity, preferably a firm with experienced corporate attorneys and certified public accountants. We expect that the results of this outside investigation will support the discharge of many members of SCI leadership. If the Board does not act consistent with its fiduciary duty, we will commence a derivative lawsuit against the individual members responsible for the conduct that is harming SCI. The conduct described below amounts to a breach of the fiduciary duty owed to each member of SCI:

    1. Diversion of SCI Opportunities for Personal Benefit risking SCI's tax-exempt status.
    SCI is permitted to maintain its status as a tax exempt organization by staying focused on it mission to advocate for hunters rights through legislative lobbying and political activities. The protection of SCI's tax exempt status is vital to the ongoing success of the organization. Unfortunately, we are aware of certain questionable practices engaged in by members of SCI leadership that threaten the validity of SCI's tax exemption. Such questionable practices are primarily carried out by senior members of the convention committee that frequently receive gifts and other kickbacks from SCI Exhibitors. Such gifts include firearms, ski trips, hunting trips, reduced fees for license tags and permits, use of vacation homes and other private benefits. The existence of these gifts alone casts doubt over the ability of those receiving the gifts to act in the best interest of SCI. Improper reporting of the individual income tax consequences of such gifts threatens the validity of SCI's tax exemption. Additionally, the receipt of such items is improper because it influences those receiving the gifts to make decisions in their own best interest instead of in the best interest of the members of SCI. We ask that the existence of these improper gifts and kickbacks be investigated and the results of that investigation be reported to the members. We also ask that SCI develop a policy aimed at protecting the organization from individuals acting in their own best interest at the expense of SCI. Such a policy should include limits on the amount of time a member of SCI leadership can serve on any one committee, particularly the convention committee, the finance committee, and as chairman of the BOI.

    2. Failure to disclose conflicts of interest. Members of SCI leadership frequently fail to disclose personal relationships with SCI service providers and vendors. Such conflicts of interest impair the ability of SCI leadership to effectively act in the best interest of the organization. One recent example of a conflict of interest involves the EPIC Game Fair held in Atlanta. Senior volunteer leadership and senior members of the convention committee failed to disclose personal and business relationships with other SCI members who stood to gain financially from the selection and endorsement of the Fox Hall resort and development for the 2011 SCIF Epic Game Fair. The failure to disclose these relationships casts doubt over whether the decision to use Fox Hall was in the best interest of all SCI members. It is likely that such decisions contributed to the loss of over $800,000 that SCI sustained as a result of the EPIC Game Fair. We are confident that a thorough investigation of relationships maintained by SCI leadership will uncover additional conflicts of interest that impair the ability of such leaders to act in the best interest of SCI members. We ask that such members relationships be disclosed, and that a policy requiring full disclosure of any conflicts be implemented to protect the organization from individuals maintaining relationships that conflict with the best interests of SCI.

    3. The circumstances surrounding the investigation and expulsion of two term past President Dr. Lawrence P. Rudolph. It has come to our attention that certain members of the BOI and EC have had in their possession for several months, evidence that is dispositive of claims set forth in a lawsuit filed against SCI by Dr. Rudolph. Particularly troubling is that the evidence contains several admissions made by then President of SCI John Whipple concerning the personal nature the crusade led by the BOI and its chairperson, Ralph Cunningham, to have Dr. Rudolph thrown out of SCI. At the time he made these statements, Mr. Whipple had a duty to share his thoughts with SCI leadership and the Board. Dr. Rudolph provided this evidence to SCI in an effort to secure SCI's assistance in the repair of his reputation; a reputation that was wrongfully destroyed due to the conduct of Ralph Cunningham and other members of the BOI. Dr. Rudolph offered multiple settlement proposals to SCI. Each proposal contained protections for both SCI and Dr. Rudolph. None of those proposals were shared with the Board. The individual members of the BOI and EC that were privy to the information Dr. Rudolph provided should have shared this information with the Board so that an informed decision regarding Dr. Rudolph's claims could have been discussed and approved. Instead, in an attempt to conceal evidence that clearly indicates that the BOI acted improperly causing Dr. Rudolph to suffer a significant harm, SCI leadership chose to expend significant SCI resources pursuing litigation aimed at silencing Dr. Rudolph. The effort to silence Dr. Rudolph was based purely on a desire to protect the political power of SCI leadership inasmuch as the evidence they were attempting to withhold directly implicates the current members of SCI leadership; the very members that ultimately chose to spend SCI funds seeking to have the evidence withheld.

    If the Board does not inform us that it intends to undertake an investigation of the allegations above, litigation will be filed alleging that members of SCI leadership have breached their fiduciary duty. Should you have any follow up questions regarding the allegations contained in this letter, please do not hesitate to contact us at reformsafariclub@gmail.com . Sincerely,
    Reform Safari Club International
    Reform Safari Club International reformsafariclub@gmail.com Current SCI Members:
     
  2. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    As I am clueless about the inner politics of SCI and the history of discontent this is rather disconnected to me.
     
  3. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH Legend

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    Well I had this long post all ready to go when a sense of discretion took over, so I'll limit my posted thoughts. After having watched the video and reading some of the transcript, I'm led to be very concerned for the future of SCI. While SCI has had its share of less than ideal events let's say, it has done a lot of good for both hunters and wildlife. It would be a shame if this situation led to the baby being thrown out with the filthy bathwater.
     
  4. Wheels

    Wheels GOLD SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    I have been an SCI member for apx. 30 years.

    I don't know anything about "National" or the "Inner Circle" other than what I hear and read....which is not always endearing.

    After watching Rudolphs one hour and twenty minute secret video of a luncheon with Whipple, I am thoroughly disgusted.

    Hopefully the lawsuit can bring about change within the leadership and board of the organization without to much damage to SCI and its mission. A Federal Judge and the national media are not the place you want to air your dirty laundry.

    Phil, your thoughts are always well written and fare. With your proximity to "National" you probably know a lot more than the rest of us. With the lawsuit and video already released in the public forum I would be interested in your thoughts if you wish to share them.

    All the best.
     
  5. Blue Skies Hunting Adventures

    Blue Skies Hunting Adventures AH Enthusiast

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    Yeah all this showmanship to earn top awards is now a big pissing match between these guys and being played out on a national scale , which is really going to undermine all the good things this organization has done for the hunting industry. No one will come out a winner in this.
     
  6. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH Legend

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    Believe it or not Wheels, SCI HQ might as well be on the east coast. I know it's in Tucson, but I couldn't tell you how to get to the building.

    As far as my thoughts go, well the one thing I'll say goes along with what Brian said in post #5. There are serious allegations made in the video. Some of these accusations concern financial malfeasance and if proven true could result in SCI losing its tax exempt status.

    The revocation of that can be back dated. I'm not how far back it can go, I'd presume there's some statute of limitations. But nonetheless it could leave SCI with a huge tax bill which of course would have to be paid out of donations. What's the possible fall out from that?

    Now making matters worse, if you have donors who claimed their donations on their tax returns, in theory they could be audited and end up having to pay back taxes and perhaps with penalty and interest. Again, what's the fall out that could come out of this?

    Now adding to the fun and games, how many fence sitters with regards to hunting will move over to the anti side when this all gets played out in the media?
     
  7. Wheels

    Wheels GOLD SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    This is a concern. Depending on how much more comes out and how the national media want to cover it.

    The best thing to happen might be for the entire board to resign along with the people that chair various committees, especially BOI. Bring a whole new group in and have an impartial investigation. Will this happen.......I'm not holding my breath.
     
  8. Jaco Strauss

    Jaco Strauss AH Elite

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    This is a long standing matter PHASA had a meeting with SCI with regards to some of their "preferred" outfitters almost a decade ago and those very preferred outfitters misconduct leading to their expulsion from their respective hunting associations...

    SCI had a simple reply... That PHASA and NAPHA should be reminded that SCI is a business...

    This is nothing new.. Corruption has been a long standing problem within SCI and the sad thing is that it has been one that we have learnt to live with because of SCI's pull in the hunting market...

    Maybe we will see a free and fair SCI in the future I truly hope that they will be able to clean their house... I am however not overly confident...

    With hope.
    My best as always.
     
  9. spike.t

    spike.t GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    so what did rudolph do to get clapped in the first place?
     
  10. Jaco Strauss

    Jaco Strauss AH Elite

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    He ran in the Rain Deer... :)
     
  11. spike.t

    spike.t GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    :barmy::laughing: jaco email me your cell no in states and will give you a shout when we get there :beer:
     
  12. bearpWs

    bearpWs New Member

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    Jmho, all organisations have a political element, one guyvwas terminated for whatever reason, now is bitter. Time to move on...
     
  13. Rafael42

    Rafael42 New Member

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    It's a Shame if they spend that money just to cover their errors, and keep personal benefits
     

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