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Board member suspension


Guest Scott p
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One of our clubs officers faced charges brought by a member.  We conducted the hearing as outlined in our CBL and the hearing committee found against the club officer and they we issued a suspension from all club activities for 6 months.  The question is, since this officer is suspended for 6 months and will be unable to perform their duties during this time, can this officer be removed from the board and replaced permanently, or do we need to let them return to their position on the board at the end of the suspension to finish out their term.  Our CBL is silent on situations like this.

Thank you

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Since your CBL are silent on the issue nothing in RONR requires you allow the Officer to take back his position after the suspension nor does it prohibit you from doing so.  However, I suspect they do address the situation even if indirectly.  For example, do the CBL even permit electing/appointing a temporary officer for a specific period of time and allowing the replaced officer to resume his position without any further action?*

*: Granted RONR does provide for a Chair Pro Tem and a Secretary Pro Tem, but those are intended for when the Chair or Secretary aren't present for a meeting or a portion thereof, not for six months of meetings.

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Our CBL does not address electing/appointing temporary officers or allowing a replaced officer to resume his position without any further action.

The only reference to vacancies appears in the section addressing Governors and Offices and not in the section on discipline. It states ' Vacancies. Any vacancy occurring among the Officers or Governors shall be filled for the remainder of that term of office by a majority vote of the Board: except that a vacancy in the office of President shall be filled automatically by the Vice President and the resulting vacancy in the office of Vice President shall be filled by the Board.'

In the same section it also states ' The Nominating Committee shall give reasonable attention to regional representation in its selection for the ballot and shall require assurance that the candidate will make every reasonable effort to attend meetings. The nominee should be informed that repeated failure to attend Board Meetings will result in resignation, either voluntary or by a decision of the Board.'  Could this apply even though it is addressing the nominating committee? 

Thanks

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3 hours ago, Guest Scot P said:

In the same section it also states ' The Nominating Committee shall give reasonable attention to regional representation in its selection for the ballot and shall require assurance that the candidate will make every reasonable effort to attend meetings. The nominee should be informed that repeated failure to attend Board Meetings will result in resignation, either voluntary or by a decision of the Board.'  Could this apply even though it is addressing the nominating committee? 

I don't think this is at all germane; even if it were not talking specifically about the nominating committee, whatever would it be about?

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6 hours ago, Guest Scott p said:

. . . the hearing committee found against the club officer and they were issued a suspension from all club activities for 6 months. 

Q. Since this officer is suspended for 6 months and will be unable to perform their duties during this time,

can this officer be removed from the board and replaced permanently,

or do we need to let them return to their position on the board at the end of the suspension to finish out their term.

No, you cannot remove someone from office after the penalty of a disciplinary nature has been issued (and which did not include "removal from office").

When the hearing committee (!?) issued the penalty, the penalty did not include "removal from office". So, the suspended officer is still in office.

To remove from office this party, you would have to hold a second disciplinary hearing on another different issue (as you cannot re-try someone repeatedly for a single set of offenses).

It appears that you will have to DELEGATE the duties to some other party, if that suspended officer cannot perform that set of duties.

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I think this is what you are referring to:

Section 1. Board of Governors. The management of the Club shall be vested in a Board constituted of Officers (President, Vice President, Treasurer, Corresponding Secretary, Recording Secretary) and 4 Governors, all of whom shall be members in good standing who are residents of the United States. They shall be elected for staggered three-year terms as provided in Article IV and shall serve until their successors are elected. At the first election following adoption of these bylaws, the President, Corresponding Secretary and one Governor shall be elected to a three-year term, the Vice President, Treasurer and one Governor shall be elected to a two-year term, and the Recording Secretary and two Governors shall be elected to a one-year term. Thereafter, the three open positions shall be elected to a three-year term. The Nominating Committee shall give reasonable attention to regional representation in its selection for the ballot and shall require assurance that the candidate will make every reasonable effort to attend meetings. The nominee should be informed that repeated failure to attend Board Meetings will result in resignation, either voluntary or by a decision of the Board.

All Officers and Governors are elected for three (3) year terms and may be elected

for one successive term but thereafter are ineligible for re-election to the same office for one 3 year term, except the President who may serve two consecutive terms but may not serve additional terms as President until four years has elapsed.

We are well past the 1st election and all members of the board have staggered 3 year terms.

Thanks

 

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C'mon, Kim!

9 hours ago, Kim Goldsworthy said:

No, you cannot remove someone from office after the penalty of a disciplinary nature has been issued (and which did not include "removal from office").

O really?  You got a citation for this assertion?

9 hours ago, Kim Goldsworthy said:

When the hearing committee (!?) issued the penalty, the penalty did not include "removal from office". So, the suspended officer is still in office.

Of course he's still in office:  the original question was whether he can be removed from it. And ...

9 hours ago, Kim Goldsworthy said:

To remove from office this party, you would have to hold a second disciplinary hearing

OK, finally, yes, that's what Guest Scott P was asking; but ...

9 hours ago, Kim Goldsworthy said:

To remove from office this party, you would have to hold a second disciplinary hearing on another different issue (as you cannot re-try someone repeatedly for a single set of offenses).

Who says?  You got a citation for this assertion?

C'mon, Kim!

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O, I see.

14 hours ago, Guest Scot P said:

repeated failure to attend Board Meetings will result in resignation, either voluntary or by a decision of the Board.'  Could this apply even though it is addressing the nominating committee? 

(Yeah; apparently it is a fact, established there in the bylaws, though awkwardly placed.)

10 hours ago, Gary c Tesser said:

I don't think this is at all germane; even if it were not talking specifically about the nominating committee, whatever would it be about?

Aha. What it's about is, if he's suspended, and therefore does not attend board meetings, should he be removed from office for not attending those meetings?

However, that's tangential.  Go with what Chris Harrison says (always a good bet). 

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In the original post, you said " the hearing committee found against the officer and they we issued a suspension from all club activities for 6 months."

Two questions -  1) Who does the "they we" refer to? The hearing committee? Or does the 'we' imply some other body? and 2) What body in your organization has the authority to remove a board member?  Is it the board itself, or is it the membership?

 

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Given the bylaw language, it does require a disciplinary process to remove him from office.  I would argue (personally) that the bylaws only say that the nominating committee is supposed to tell people things, and don't actually establish that missing meetings will result in resignation, either voluntarily or by a decision of the Board.  But interpreting that bylaw is for your organization, not for me.  (It also looks really hard to apply.  What is 'repeated?'  Is the board being given the power, or not?  Why would a bylaw need to say that a person who misses repeated meetings can resign?)

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4 hours ago, Gary c Tesser said:

C'mon, Kim!

Citations?

The U.S. Constitution (Art. I, Sec. 9) was a rule:

   • No ex post facto law shall be passed.

This is "not inconsistent" with Robert's Rules' chapter on discipline.

You cannot increase a penalty on a party for the same crime, once the trial phase is over.

To increase the penalty on a party, you must re-try that party.  -- And because of the double jeopardy rule, you must use brand new charges, not the original set of charges.

You cannot amend the first penalty to a higher, more stringent penalty, via Amend Something Previously Adopted, without due process to the targeted party.

But you can forgive the convicted party, without violating a rule. -- You can commute a sentence. -- You can un-suspend a member. -- You can reduce the number of months of suspension from six to a lesser value.

It violates no due process to un-penalize a party. But it does violate due process to increase the penalty.

***

These are principles of justice taken from the United States of America's document of governance.

I don't think Robert's Rules of Order's chapter on discipline would jump over such fundamental principles of jurisprudence.

 

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  • 3 years later...
4 minutes ago, Guest Ann said:

So along these same lines, if charges are brought against a Board member, is the Board member automatically suspended from his duties & previleges until after the charges have been heard and a penalty is (or isn't) imposed?

Please post your question as a new topic. When you do, it would also be helpful if you could provide the following information, in order to answer your question.

1) Do your bylaws have their own rules regarding discipline of board members, or otherwise contain language suggesting board members may be removed prior to the end of their terms? If so, what are these rules?

2) If not, what do the bylaws provide regarding the term of office for board members?

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