GRIEVANCES
(Last update 12/02/2014)

All grievance and disciplinary proceedings are filed and resolved pursuant to the procedures outlined in Article XXV of the U.S. Figure Skating bylaws and in the Grievance Committee and Ethics Committee rules. The Grievance Committee is responsible for administering the various grievance and hearing processes provided under the U.S. Figure Skating bylaws and rules, to provide standard hearing and complaint procedures for the prompt and equitable resolution of grievances of U.S. Figure Skating members, and to cause to be published certain information about a grievance once it is final.

Persons banned or suspended from u.s. figure skating membership
Grievance Publication Pursuant to GCR 9.03
Effective September 1, 2001 a rule was put into place requiring publication in SKATING magazine of actions taken by hearing panels. The following persons have been disciplined under U.S. Figure Skating bylaw Article XXV and have been suspended or banned from U.S. Figure Skating membership. These persons should not be credentialed, nor permitted to coach in any U.S. Figure Skating sponsored or sanctioned activity including but not limited to participating in qualifying or nonqualifying competitions, tests, carnivals and exhibitions. NOTE: In 2005 U.S. Figure Skating also adopted the practice of publishing these actions on www.usfigureskating.org

If you would like more information about the grievance process, please contact the Grievance Committee liaison at U.S. Figure Skating Headquarters, 719.635.5200 or e-mail grievance@usfigureskating.org.

Persons suspended pending final hearing panel determination

Considering the nature of the charges and information provided with the Grievance Statement, in accordance with the authority provided to the U.S. Figure Skating Ethics Committee Rule (ECR) 3.04 and pending the hearing contemplated by Article XXV, Section 3(B) of the U.S. Figure Skating Bylaws, effective as of the date shown, membership in U.S. Figure Skating is suspended.

Genrikh Sretenski - suspended September 18, 2012

PERSONS PERMANENTLY BANNED FROM U.S. FIGURE SKATING

Tonya Harding - lifetime ban effective 1994. Ban occurred prior to the publication requirement.

David Loncar
In December of 2010 a grievance was filed by U.S. Figure Skating against David Loncar alleging violations of GR1.01, GR1.02 and GR1.04. U.S. Figure Skating suspended his membership at that time. This filing was made per U.S. Figure Skating bylaw XXIV (3) (b) and rules ECR 2.02 and ECR 3.00. A similar grievance was also filed by PSA. Pursuant to GCR 3.02 (E), these grievances were joined.

In December of 2010, Loncar was arrested by the Richmond (Virginia) Police Dept. on multiple charges. He was released with charges pending. In January 2010 Loncar pleaded guilty to two drug charges. The charges were reduced to misdemeanors and a suspended sentence was given. In January of 2012 Loncar was charged with 15 felony counts. On April 3, 2012 Loncar pled guilty to all 15 charges. Loncar was sentenced on August 1, 2012.

Loncar did not respond to the allegations within thirty (30) days as provided for in ECR 3.08. ECR 3.08 (B) provides that such failure is deemed an admission of the allegations made by the grievant. ECR 3.08 further provides that under such circumstances, Loncar waived his right to a hearing or appeal and that the chair of the Grievance Committee has, with the concurrence of the Board of Directors and PSA, determined that Loncar violated GR 1.01, GR 1.02 and GR 1.04 based on his court actions and deemed admissions and is, therefore, permanently banned from membership in U.S. Figure Skating and the PSA.

David Lowery
In June 2003, a grievance was filed against David Lowery under U.S. Figure Skating bylaw [then] Article XXVII, Sec 3(b) alleging violation of GR 1.02(a), the U.S. Figure Skating Code of Ethics (as published U.S. Figure Skating 2003 Rulebook), and GR 1.04, the U.S. Figure Skating Harassment and Abuse Policy (as published in U.S. Figure Skating 2003 Rulebook). Mr. Lowery, through his counsel, requested that this grievance be held in abeyance pending the resolution of a non-U.S. Figure Skating matter, which request was granted. In September 2004, following the conclusion of the non-U.S. Figure Skating matter, Mr. Lowery and his counsel were notified that a response was required to the grievance statement filed in June 2003. Mr. Lowery did not respond to the allegations within thirty (30) days as provided for in ECR 3.08 (formerly cited as U.S. Figure Skating bylaw [then] Article XXVII 3 (b) (iii)). ECR 3.08 (B) provides that such failure is deemed an admission of the allegations made by the Grievant. ECR 3.08 further provides that, under such circumstances, Mr. Lowery waived his right to a hearing or an appeal and that the chair of the Grievance Committee will, with the concurrence of the Executive Committee, impose appropriate discipline. The chair of the Grievance Committee, with the concurrence of the Executive Committee, determined that Mr. Lowery violated GR 1.02 (a) and GR 1.04 based on his deemed admissions and, therefore, is permanently banned from membership in U.S. Figure Skating.

Marc Mandina
In December of 2010, a grievance was filed by U.S. Figure Skating against Marc Mandina alleging violations of GR 1.02 and GR 1.04. A felony warrant was issued for Mandina citing violation of California Penal Code 311.11 (A). This filing was made per U.S. Figure Skating bylaw XXIV (3) (b) and rules ECR 2.02 and ECR 3.00. A similar grievance was also filed by PSA. Pursuant to GCR 3.02 (E), these grievances were joined. In June of 2011 Mr. Mandina made a plea agreement with the State of California. Since that time he has violated the agreement. Mr. Mandina did not respond to the allegations within thirty (30) days as provided for in ECR 3.08. ECR 3.08 (B) provides that such failure is deemed an admission of the allegations made by the grievant. ECR 3.08 further provides that under such circumstances, Mr. Mandina waived his right to a hearing or an appeal and that the Chair of the Grievance Committee will, with the concurrence of the Board of Directors, impose appropriate discipline. The Chair of the Grievance Committee, with the concurrence of the Board of Directors and PSA, determined that Mr. Mandina violated GR 1.02 and GR 1.04 based on his court actions and deemed admissions and is, therefore, permanently banned from membership in U.S. Figure Skating and the PSA.

Gordon McKellen - lifetime ban effective July 2001. Ban occurred prior to the publication requirement.

Jacqueline Mero - lifetime ban effective June 2003. Ban occurred prior to the publication requirement.

Joseph Mero
A disciplinary action was initiated by U.S. Figure Skating against Joseph Mero, alleging violations of the U.S. Figure Skating Code of Ethics, General Rules GR 1.01, GR 1.02, GR 1.03, GR 1.04, and the U.S. Figure Skating Policy Statement on Harassment and Abuse. The Professional Skaters Association was notified of these allegations. Upon review, it was determined that the matter would proceed as a combined U.S. FIGURE SKATING/PSA grievance pursuant to U.S. FIGURE SKATING GCR 3.02(E). In accordance with U.S. FIGURE SKATING Rules, a hearing panel was appointed and a disciplinary hearing was conducted in which Mr. Mero was given the opportunity to participate. The hearing panel made factual findings and concluded that Mr. Mero violated the U.S. FIGURE SKATING Code of Ethics, U.S. FIGURE SKATING General Rules GR 1.01, GR 1.02, GR 1.03, GR 1.04, U.S. FIGURE SKATING Policy Statement on Harassment and Abuse, and PSA Code of Ethics Nos. 4, 5, and 7, and Tenets of Professionalism 5 and 10. The hearing panel ruled that Mr. Mero is expelled from membership in U.S. Figure Skating and the PSA and that he is banned from membership in U.S. Figure Skating and the PSA for life. No appeal was filed. The hearing panel's decision is now final.

Erik Pedersen
In December 2007, U.S. Figure Skating filed a grievance against Erik Pedersen, alleging violations of GR 1.01 (A), GR 1.02 (A), (D) & (E) and GR 1.03. (A) PSA grievance was also filed against Mr. Pederson. A combined U.S. Figure Skating/PSA disciplinary hearing was conducted and the panel concluded that that Mr. Pederson had violated the specified U.S. Figure Skating and PSA rules. The panel concluded that Mr. Pederson be permanently banned from U.S. Figure Skating and PSA membership. No appeal was filed and the hearing panel's decision is final.

Lindsey Sikorski
Sandra Sikorski
On May 13, 2011, a grievance was filed by six members of the Board of Directors for the Wyandotte Figure Skating Club (WFSC) against Lindsey Sikorski, a coach for the club, and her mother, Sandra Sikorski, a previous officer of WFSC. This grievance alleged violations of GR 1.01(A), GR 1.02(A), GR 1.02(C), GR 1.02(F), and GR 1.04. The grievance also alleged violations of the WFSC bylaws, specifically Article 4.1, 4.2, 4.6, 5.13(i), 6.1(j), and 9.5.
Thereafter, on January 12, 2012, a grievance was filed by the chair of the Ethics Committee against Sandra Sikorski. Finally, on January 13, 2012, a grievance was filed by the chair of the Ethics Committee against Lindsey Sikorski. The grievances filed by the chair of the Ethics Committee against both Lindsey Sikorski and Sandra Sikorski allege violations of GR 1.01, GR 1.02, and GR 1.03. The three grievances against Lindsey Sikorski and Sandra Sikorski were combined for hearing.
A Hearing Panel considered documentary evidence and heard testimony on November 28, 2012 and November 29, 2012. On December 18, 2012, a Decision was issued in favor of WFSC and U.S. Figure Skating and against Lindsey Sikorski and Sandra Sikorski. The sanction imposed for the violations found by the Hearing Panel provided that Lindsey Sikorski and Sandra Sikorski be permanently banned from membership in U.S. Figure Skating.
An appeal was filed by both Lindsey Sikorski and Sandra Sikorski. The Appellate Panel upheld the findings of the original hearing panel. This matter is now final and both Lindsey and Sandra Sikorski are permanently banned from membership.

Regina Sumpter
On February 14, 2014, U.S. Figure Skating received a Grievance Statement filed by the president of the Thoroughbred Figure Skating Club, Susan D. Manning, on behalf of the board of the Thoroughbred Figure Skating Club and against Regina Sumpter. The Grievance Statement alleges a violation of GR 1.01, 1.02(A), 1.04 and Article XXV, Section 3(B) as well as the Thoroughbred FSC Bylaws Article IV, Section 4.1, Article VII, Section 7.5, Article IX, Section 9.1, and Article XIII.

The Midwestern Vice President immediately suspended the membership of Regina Sumpter. No response to the Grievance Statement was filed. Pursuant to GCR 3.03(B), a failure to file a response constitutes an admission of the allegations made by the Grievant and waives the Respondent's right to a hearing or appeal. The chair of the Grievance Committee recommended appropriate relief to the U.S. Figure Skating Board of Directors and sought their agreement.

The chair of the Grievance Committee, with concurrence of the U.S. Figure Skating Board of Directors, found a violation of the General Rules and Bylaws of the Thoroughbred Figure Skating Club. Based upon these findings, Regina Sumpter is permanently banned from Membership in U.S. Figure Skating.

Laurie Van Den Bosch
In June 2009 a grievance was filed by the Orange County Figure Skating Club against Laurie Van Den Bosch, the club's former treasurer. The grievance alleged violations of GR 1.01 and GR 1.04 and Article 8 of the club's bylaws. Ms. Van Den Bosch was notified of the grievance filing and did not respond. In accordance with U.S. Figure Skating bylaws and Grievance Committee rules, a hearing panel was appointed and a hearing was held on December 7, 2009. Ms. Van Den Bosch did not participate. The panel made factual findings and concluded that Ms. Van Den Bosch had violated GR1.01 (Code of Ethics) and GR 1.02 (Code of Conduct). The hearing panel ruled that Ms. Van Den Bosch be permanently banned from membership in U.S. Figure Skating. The panel allowed that this ban not go into effect for one calendar year, thus giving Ms. Van Den Bosch a window to appeal. The committee has not heard from Ms. Van Den Bosch and no appeal was filed. This decision is now final.

Renee Velasquez
On May 9, 2013, a Grievance Statement was filed, File No. 2013-04, by Jaclyn Ward Vargo, chair of the Ethics Committee, on behalf of U.S. Figure Skating as Grievant against Renee Velasquez. The grievance alleged violations of the U.S. Figure Skating Harassment Policy, GR 1.01 and GR 1.03. A Reply to the Grievance Statement was filed by the Respondent Renee Velazquez dated June 4, 2013. Renee Velasquez was suspended from membership in U.S. Figure Skating on May 9, 2013.
The Hearing Panel considered documentary evidence and heard testimony on July 15, 2013. On July 22, 2013, a Statement of Decision was issued in favor of U.S. Figure Skating and against Renee Velasquez. The sanction imposed for the violations found by the Hearing Panel provided that Renee Velasquez be permanently banned from U.S. Figure Skating.
No appeal was taken from the decision of the Hearing Panel and therefore the decision of the Hearing Panel is now final.

Donald Vincent
In January of 2013 a grievance was filed by U.S. Figure Skating against Donald (D.J.) Vincent alleging violations of GR 1.01, GR 1.02, GR 1.03 and GR1.04. U.S. Figure Skating suspended his membership at that time. This filing was made per U.S. Figure Skating bylaw XXIV (3) (b) and rules ECR 2.02 and ECR 3.00. A similar grievance was also filed by PSA. Pursuant to GCR 3.02 (E) these grievances were joined. In January of 2013, Vincent was arrested by the Los Angeles County Sheriff on multiple charges. In January of 2014 he was found guilty by the Los Angeles Superior Court on 10 felony counts. Vincent did not respond to the allegations within thirty (30) days as provided for in ECR 3.08. ECR 3.08 (B) provides that such failure is deemed an admission of allegations made by the grievant. ECR 3.08 further provides that under such circumstances Vincent waived his rights to a hearing or appeal and that the chair of the Grievance Committee has, with concurrence of the Board of Directors and PSA, determined that Vincent violated GR1.01, GR 1.02, GR 1.03 and GR 1.04 based on the court's finding and is, therefore, permanently banned from membership in U.S. Figure Skating and the PSA.

Robert Young - lifetime ban effective July 2002. Ban occurred prior to the publication requirement.

PERSONS SUSPENDED FROM U.S. FIGURE SKATING

Roy Cofer
Suspended indefinitely in June 2005. The hearing panel imposed a conditional suspension. The conditions were not met and he remains suspended.

Daniel Gray
Suspended indefinitely in March 2003. The hearing panel imposed a conditional three year suspension. The conditions were not met and he remains suspended.

Amy L. McCann
Suspended until October 6, 2018. After that date, should McCann rejoin there would be restrictions.

Tricia Rubacky
In August 2008, a grievance was filed against Tricia Rubacky under U.S. Figure Skating bylaw [then] Article XXV, Sec 3(a), alleging violations of GR 1.01 and GR 1.02. In accordance with U.S. Figure Skating Bylaws and Grievance Committee Rules, a hearing panel was appointed and a hearing was held on February 23, 2009. The panel made factual findings and concluded that Ms. Rubacky violated GR 1.01 (Code of Ethics) and GR 1.02 (Code of Conduct). As a consequence, the hearing panel recommended that Ms. Rubacky be indefinitely banned from competing in any and all competitive events sanctioned by U.S. Figure Skating from this date forward until specific conditions are completed and verified to the U.S. Figure Skating. An appeal was not filed and this decision is now final.

OTHER GRIEVANCE ACTIONS

Bennett Gottlieb v. The Skating Club of Boston
A Grievance Statement was submitted followed by a First Amended Grievance Statement and a Second Amended Grievance Statement by grievants Arthur Gottlieb and Janet Olsen on behalf of their son Bennett Gottlieb, a minor, and against Respondent, The Skating Club of Boston. Grievants alleged a violation of GR 1.02(H) and GR 1.03, as found in the 2013-2014 Rulebook and current SafeSport policy, as well as Article XI of the Constitution as amended May 16, 2003 of The Skating Club of Boston. A telephonic hearing was held on June 10, 2014.

The Hearing Panel determined that The Skating Club of Boston is to amend their General Rules and/or Constitution to provide specific details for the length of time and procedure to use for an informal investigation and is to provide its members with a copy of its Constitution and Club Rules immediately upon request by a Member.

No other violations of the Rules of U.S. Figure Skating were found.

Brooke Adler v. U.S. Figure Skating
On September 25, 2013, a Grievance Statement was filed by Barbara Adler on behalf of Brooke Adler, a minor, and against U.S. Figure Skating, alleging a violation of Rule 2401, as found in the 2013-2014 Rulebook. An Expedited Hearing Panel was appointed and a telephonic hearing took place on September 30, 2013.

The Expedited Hearing Panel found that U.S. Figure Skating did not violate Competition Rule 2401 of the Qualifying Competition Rules. On October 1, 2013, this Grievance was dismissed.

Tessa Hong v Larry Kriwanek
On November 3, 2014, Tessa Hong, by and through her mother, Miyung Hong, filed a Grievance Statement against Larry Kriwanek, alleging a violation of Rule 1403(D)&(F). A Reply was filed by Respondent Kriwanek on November 6, 2014. An Expedited Hearing Panel was appointed. A Pre-Hearing Statement of Decision was issued on November 10, 2014, which dismissed the Grievance Statement. A Notice of Appeal was filed and an Expedited Appellate Panel was appointed on November 11, 2014.

A Statement of Decision was issued by the Expedited Appellate Panel, remanding the Grievance to the Expedited Hearing Panel for further proceedings. A telephonic hearing took place on November 15, 2014 and on November 16, 2014 all parties were notified of the Decision of the Expedited Hearing Panel. A written Statement of Decision was issued on November 17, 2014 which dismissed the Grievance.

On November 17, 2014, a Notice of Appeal was filed on behalf of the Grievant. On November 18, 2014, the Expedited Appellate Panel issued its Statement of Decision sustaining the dismissal of the Grievance, finding that Respondent violated no Rules of U.S. Figure Skating and therefore the Grievance was dismissed.