Jay was given the opportunity to address the EC today in regards to the response to his motion last year, concerning legal conflicts of interest at the EC. Here is his statement.
Thank you Mr. President for the opportunity to speak to this particular concern of mine. May I start by offering a word of thanks that after a bit of a faux pas yesterday morning, I was approached by our new lawyers, our chief parliamentarian and our interim EC President yesterday afternoon. They were very kind in their engagement with me and our Brother, President Willie McLaurin (of whom I’ve become a big fan) graciously offered me an opportunity to speak to the EC response to my motion today and I deeply appreciate that.
My concern was simple. First, let me say I am very disappointed with the response from the EC suggesting that there has been no conflict of interest as it relates to our former legal council. I spoke to the subcommittee who dealt with this issue back in September and more fully explained my concern so they knew what the issues were.
Friends, if you have a pulse, you have witnessed the clear display of a conflict of interest from our previous lawyers. If not from the concerns which birthed my motion last year (which some of you may know about), then surely you saw it in relationship to the circus that was the 3 EC meetings last fall. Ultimately, if you didn’t see it then, it’s all been laid shockingly bare in the sex abuse task force report where even the EC itself was deceived.
Yes, maybe it’s not an “inherent” conflict of interest, as the EC has correctly pointed out, but there’s no question to anyone who’s been watching that if not an “inherent” conflict of interest there’s certainly been an “apparent” conflict of interest.
I’ve wondered about how to proceed from here but at this point, here’s the thing. The guys I had concerns about are all gone. They all quit. So that’s good!
Now, there might be a motion that could follow regarding punitive action against their past counsel but, at this point I would rather look forward than backward. Let’s move on from this.
In my very encouraging conversation with our current counsel and with President McLaurin, I believe we are all on the same page about our ultimate concerns. I am pleased to say that I’ve been assured there are intentions to bring forth, in the near future, some guardrails regarding the hiring of legal counsel and their role as advisors to our work not the leaders of our work. This is being brought about to ensure we will never see this sort of thing happen again.
I am truly excited about our future together and I’m over the moon about this new Executive Committee that was forged yesterday with the election of 26 new members. I really have confidence in this body and do believe good things are coming for our cooperative work.
With that said, thank you Mr. President for the opportunity to address you and the EC on this matter. I’m happy to tell this body that my concern have been alleviated. Thank you.