Greetings from Amarillo
Well, I've made it to the middle of the Texas panhandle, and I'm not yet halfway home. I may not make it tonight.
So I'm in Amarillo, contemplating the Big Texan
's offer of the free 72 ounce steak dinner, if you eat it within one hour. According to their website, if you can't eat it in one hour, you won't eat it in two, either. I think I can handle it...
I wanted to share my reflection of the back-and-forth between Tom Hatley, outgoing chairman of the IMB board of trustees, and Wade Burleson. Wade describes the incident on his blog
, and my recollection differs slightly from the way it was described there. It is, in my mind, a minor point, but Rob Ayers
asked a question about it in a comment on SBC Outpost
, so I will share my recollection.
Hatley read what he described as a "special report" of the executive committee, composed of elected officers and standing committee chairpersons. He cited some of the language in Wade's Crusading Conservatives Vs. Cooperating Conservatives
(following that link, it's about 2/3 of the way down the page) post from last December, as well as comments Wade allowed to be published on his blog, as examples of how Wade had, in their estimation, broken trust with some trustees. He stated that these and other unspecified actions on Wade's part had hurt personally some trustees who believed their motives were being attacked. He concluded the prepared report by stating his recommendation that Wade not be allowed to serve on any committees of the board in the coming year.
He then said that while that was to have been the extent of the recommendations, he had been very recently informed by IMB counsel* that Wade had broken the confidentiality of the trustee forum held on Monday by publishing details discussed there on his blog. Based on this breech of confidentiality, he was further recommending that Wade be barred from all closed sessions of the board (forums, executive sessions) for the following year.
Hatley was then planning to recognize Clyde Meador, who was bringing the annual personnel review, when Wade stepped to a microphone. Hatley recognized Wade, who stated that he was unsure how specifically he had broken confidentiality, but that if it were pointed out to him, he would repent "on the spot."
Hatley responded that while repentance would be appreciated, it would not change his recommendation concerning the ban from closed sessions, as Wade had demonstrated a pattern of breaking confidences (lack of accountability?). He stated that Wade would need to establish a contrary pattern of repentance in order for the recommendation to change. At this point, Wade again asked for specifics on the accusation, at which point, Hatley said, and this is a loose quote, "You'll need to close that mic, I need to recognize staff for their reports." Wade returned to his seat, and Clyde Meador stepped to the platform and gave his report.
This is, in my memory, how Hatley addressed Wade's offer of repentance. He did not say that it would not be accepted, only that it would not change his recommendation. I don't intend by this post to say that Wade's or anyone else's account of this event is wrong and mine is right. As any trial lawyer will tell you, eyewitness accounts are notoriously unreliable, and this is simply my eyewitness account to the best of my recollection.
Perhaps when I have driven a few more hours, I'll post some more. Or maybe I'll just sleep...
*In a comment on this post, Wade Burleson said based on a conversation after these events with IMB counsel Matt Bristol that this recollection is faulty on my part. Hatley did mention "IMB counsel" but did not indicate that Mr. Bristol instigated the event as I described. I'm leaving the original wording above so the comments make sense, but I agree with Wade's characterization of Mr. Bristol's involvement.