Tom Stevens Falsely Claims Ken Krawchuk, LPPA Secretary, Indicted By Judicial Committee

Published on Tom Stevens’ blog, Liberty Lion on May 8th:

Ken Krawchuk, the current Secretary of the Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania, published a list of Board Members after the Board of Directors Meeting held on April 13, 2013 specifically excluding Dr. Tom Stevens, Immediate Past Chair, a voting member of the Board of Directors. First, Mr. Krawchuk resisted listing Dr. Stevens as a voting Board Member and when he finally did add his name to the list, he refused to count his votes saying the votes would only be counted if Dr. Stevens called him personally or sent it to him by first class mail. This burden was not placed on any other voting Board Member.

Lawrence James Fryman, LPPA State Chair, posted the following to the LpBoard-Business Yahoo Group:

I believe Tom Stevens should be allowed to vote as immediate past chair.

Henry Haller, Western Vice-Chair, posted:

Tom did vote “No” and because he is still on the board as immediate past chair, his vote must be counted.

Richard Schwarz, Philadelphia County LP State Rep wrote:

Ken, Tom has voted. If you do not wish to accept his vote via email then in my opinion you should not be the Secretary of the LPPA.

Ken Krawchuk remained unmoved and refused to count votes cast by Dr. Stevens on the official Board Business Yahoo Group. Mr. Krawchuk posted:

I await Tom’s vote, aye or nay. Operators are standing by, and the USPO is undismayed by rain, snow, sleet, or hail. 215-881-9696, 117 West Ave, Elkins Park, PA 19027.

After reading this, Dr. Stevens filed a complaint with the LPPA Judicial Committee. It read, in relevant part:

I am being disenfranchised as a voting member of the Board of Directors and I would like the Judicial Committee to direct the Secretary Ken Krawchuk to do his job, to add me to the list of Board members, to record my votes and monitor all activity on the LpBoard-Business Yahoo Group where only Board Members and alternates vote on motions and participate in discussions.

When told by other Board Members that Dr. Tom Stevens voted on pending motions, Ken Krawchuk wrote the following, which the Judicial Committee found to be a fact:

I wouldn’t know what Tom said. I’ve had him in my kill file for a while. I asked him to behave himself and he refused, and no one on the board has raised a point of personal privilege to start the process to silence his rude rants, so I took personal action myself to stop them. Nothing coming from any of his e-mail addresses can reach me. The resulting silence is quite nice, thank you, and I’d advise others to do the same (except Erik, of course, who seems to enjoy it all).

The Bylaws back me up in my actions too. Article V Section 5 says: “If any members of the Board of Directors do not wish to transact Board business over the Internet, when a vote is required the Secretary will forward to them via mail or phone sufficient information regarding the business at hand to allow them to vote knowledgeably.” I refuse to transact board business over the Internet with Tom. Period. If he has anything to say to me regarding board business, he can call or write.

It was then pointed out to Ken Krawchuk that he could record who voted by simply going to the LpBoard-Business Yahoo Group Messages Section without unblocking any e-mail addresses.

Chuck Moulton, former LPPA State Chair, then posted the following message to Ken Krawchuk, LPPA Secretary, which said, in part:

Dr. Tom Stevens should be listed on the voter role as the Immediate Past Chair (because he is)…I don’t see why the secretary would post an inaccurate list of voting board members.

The secretary has an obligation to monitor board member emails for votes — if there is no vote, just stop reading the email. Blocking Tom’s email would be fine if the secretary would regularly look on the Yahoo group web archive to find votes and motions, but apparently he’s not doing that either. If the secretary is unable or unwilling to do his duty, then he should resign.

The LPPA Judicial Committee ruled in favor of Dr. Stevens and issued the following decision:

The Bylaws’ phrase “If any members of the Board of Directors do not wish to transact business over the Internet” manifestly grants an option to board members who are called upon to vote. There is no conceivable interpretation of this provision that gives the Secretary authority to refuse to count the e-mail vote of a particular member and require him instead to vote by mail or telephone.

Any vote count as to which Dr. Stevens or any other Board member was subjected to this discriminatory burden is null and void ab initio and is of no force and effect.

Matthew Kelly, LPPA Membership Chair who served as Acting Secretary at the Board Meeting held on January 26, 2013, commented as follows:

There is absolutely no excuse or possible explanation for Ken Krawchuk, the current LPPA Secretary, not listing Dr. Tom Stevens, Immediate Past Chair, as a voting member of the Board of Directors or for his refusal to count votes cast by him on the official Board Business Yahoo Group. It is a failure of his fiduciary duties, a betrayal of the trust Board Members placed in him, and cause for disciplinary action.

The fact that Ken Krawchuk could believe the LPPA Bylaws permitted him to place this “extraordinary burden” on a Board Member’s right to vote is unbelievable especially since no rational person could come to that conclusion. To quote the Judicial Committee Decision, “There is no conceivable interpretation of this provision that gives the Secretary authority to refuse to count the e-mail vote of a particular member and require him instead to vote by mail or telephone.”

Behavior of this sort is an example of what many fear is the face of things to come. Professionalism may soon be replaced by thuggery and blatant disregard for the bylaws of our organization. Ken Krawchuk also serves as Secretary of the Montgomery County LP. Steve Scheetz, who has announced his candidacy for State Chair, currently serves as the County Chair of the Montgomery County LP.

Ken Krawchuk was elected Secretary of the Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania by internet vote on April 12, 2013 and will serve until the Annual Convention, which is currently scheduled to be held on June 8, 2013.

10 thoughts on “Tom Stevens Falsely Claims Ken Krawchuk, LPPA Secretary, Indicted By Judicial Committee

  1. George Phillies

    Is there a link to the actual Judicial Committee decision? I have seen what appeared to be authentic comments, someplace, in which many members of the LPPA board were agreeing with Stevens that Krawchuk is wrong.

  2. Steve Scheetz

    I have mentioned this before, but It would appear that the Judicial Committee was wrong to say that Ken Krawchuk did anything wrong without first obtaining his side of the story.

    I spoke with the Judicial Committee Chairman, and I absolutely agreed with his findings, but that was before I learned, from Ken, that the Judicial Committee NEVER contacted Ken to ask him what happened.

    I will not bother to go into details regarding what happened, suffice to say that MY suggestion would be that we all take a step back, take a few deep breaths, and handle everything at the business meeting on June the 8th where everyone will be present, and everyone can make their comments in public, as opposed to “from behind a keyboard”

    On a side note, I do not believe that William Sloane has a malicious bone in his body. I believe he acted on what he heard, and did not believe that any side of any story would change the outcome.

    Having discussed things with Ken K, I have changed my mind on the portion of the argument that there could only be one ruling. Anyway, regardless of anything else, there need be no inquisition between now and June the 8th as there is nothing of such earth shattering importance that we need to handle it before then.

    Sincerely,

    Steve Scheetz

  3. Bob Tiernan

    Steve Scheetz @ 3:

    ” …but that was before I learned, from Ken, that the Judicial Committee NEVER contacted Ken to ask him what happened.”

    *Chuckle*

    In Oregon, when we on the homest side had yet to ask Burke’s side of any story, that meant that he hadn’t been given a chance to lie about it.

    Did Burke teach Krawchuk all of his tricks?

    Maybe they met at a convention somewhere, and the rest followed.

    Bob T
    Oregon

  4. Steve Scheetz

    I have known Ken K for years… I have never known him to lie about anything.

    Sincerely,

    Steve Scheetz

  5. paulie

    Did Burke teach Krawchuk all of his tricks?

    Highly doubtful. If anyone is more of a corollary of Burke in the PA faction fight it would be Stevens.

  6. David Colborne

    As an aside, this article improperly uses “indict” in two ways:

    1. Unless the Secretary was charged with a crime, he was not “indicted”. Since nobody’s mentioning court proceedings or lawyers, I assume he’s safe.

    2. When you indict someone, you accuse (charge) someone with something. If the Secretary has already been charged and convicted, which sounds closer to what was done here, organizationally speaking, then we’re well past the “indictment” stage.

  7. paulie

    I added Stevens’ name to, and shortened, the title.

    As with the other articles, Chris, please link back to the original article.

  8. Ken Krawchuk

    Folks:

    I was looking around the IPR website for the first time in a long while when I stumbled across this article. I have two observations:

    1. The LPPa Judicial Committee has no power to indict, so Stevens is talking through his libelous hat.
    2. Last month the state convention overturned all actions of the Judicial Committee related to Stevens’ unfounded chicanery. The resolution, which passed unanimously, is copied below.

    Steve, Paulie: My thanks for standing up for me in my absence.

    Bob: Stevens hoodwinked a great number of people, and apparently influenced your opinion as well. Glad to see that the truth finally came out. For the record, I know nothing of this Burke character, or what transpired in Oregon. And it sounds like I don’t really want to know!

    – Ken

    RESOLUTION TO OVERTURN A DECISION OF THE JUDICIAL COMMITTEE

    WHEREAS on April 27, 2013, Tom Stevens filed a complaint with the LPPa Judicial Committee stating, “I would like the Judicial Committee to direct the Secretary Ken Krawchuk to do his job”; and

    WHEREAS on May 7, 2013, the Judicial Committee ruled on the complaint; and

    WHEREAS at no point was Ken Krawchuk consulted, asked to testify on his own behalf, or even notified that a complaint had been filed, let alone that a hearing had taken place; and

    WHEREAS on May 12, 2013, August 24, 2013, August 26, 2013, and September 4, 2013, Ken Krawchuk subsequently requested the Judicial Committee hold a hearing on the matter; and

    WHEREAS on September 3, 2013, the Judicial Committee Chair responded, “the Judicial Committee has determined that it is not necessary to hold a hearing,” even though Article VII Section 1 of the party Bylaws explicitly states that it IS necessary; and

    WHEREAS any refusal to allow the accused a fair hearing is repugnant to justice, fairness, and Libertarian principles; and

    WHEREAS Article IV Section 4 of the Constitution of the Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania states that “a decision of the Judicial Committee can be overturned by a three-quarters vote of the members present at a convention”;

    THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that said Judicial Committee ruling of May 7, 2013 regarding Ken Krawchuk is hereby overturned, and stricken from the record.

    Unanimously passed in convention, February 22, 2014.

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