USA Swimming announced today that Bernard “Buddy” Pylitt has replaced Jill Chasson as the Chair of the National Board of Review.
This is one of the most vital positions in the USA Swimming SafeSport program, and a role that Chasson filled for the last three years – which arguably became the most difficult three years as a backlog of sexual abuse cases was worked through.
An explanation as to what exactly the Chairman’s responsibilities are, from an earlier discussion between our Ceci Christy and USA Swimming’s Susan Woessner:
The National Board of Review panel consists of three members – the chairman, a nonathlete, and an athlete. The National Board of Review Chair (currently Jill Chasson) reviews the hearing request and in her sole discretion decides whether to grant the hearing. When the hearing is granted, the chair issues a notice of hearing to USA Swimming and the offending member. The Board convenes either in person or by phone no fewer than 45 days and no greater than 60 days after this notice issues.
If the chairman does not grant a hearing, the petition returns to USA Swimming, and it will either close the case or pursue additional investigation. As of this date, the chairman has not denied a hearing request. A member may waive his/her right to a hearing.
This is a volunteer position that is appointed by Bruce Stratton, the president of USA Swimming. Pylitt, who lives in Indianapolis, has over 38 years of experience as a county prosecutor, federal prosecutor, trial lawyer, administrative law judge, and Superior Court judge. That includes as the judge of Hamilton County Superior Court No.2, a position he served in until 2004, at which time he restarted his practice of law. He received his JD (law degree) from Indiana in 1975.
In addition, Kathy Oates-Dacey has been named the Vice-Chair. She is a lawyer, former swimmer, swim parent, former Chair of the New England Swimming Board of Review, and frequent hearing panel member or panel chair for the NBOR.
Chasson will return to focusing her time on her family and law practice in Arizona. There’s no indication if the move was related, but Chasson had come under pressure lately from watchdogs like Concussion Inc. to recuse herself in the case of former University of Utah coach Greg Winslow. Winslow was accused of sexually abusing a minor while coaching at Sun Devil Aquatics: a club whose president is Chasson’s husband Mike. She told them in May that she would recuse herself from any NBOR action involving Winslow, though it’s not clear if Winslow’s case even made it that far before her resignation.