Two USA Swimming Board members were accused of “overt campaigning” earlier this year and have since reached a settlement with the organization.
According to the published minutes from USA Swimming’s Board of Directors meeting on February 11, the organization received a complaint alleging “overt campaigning” against Board members Clark Hammond and Ira Klein.
USA Swimming conducted an investigation into the complaint, and ultimately reached a settlement with Hammond and Klein in lieu of pursuing the allegations with the National Board of Review (NBOR).
USA Swimming said it would seek an order issued by the NBOR to memorialize the agreement between the parties.
USA Swimming declined to offer any additional information on the matter to SwimSwam. When SwimSwam pressed and asked about USA Swimming’s stated commitment to transparency and whether they thought the membership deserved to know about any potential rules violations relating to the election of members of the Board of Directors, a spokesperson explained the organization’s stance as: “Per our rules and procedures, we afford a certain level of confidentiality to all National Board of Review matters. We continue to hold ourselves to the highest standards of transparency, which is why we disclosed the amount of detail we did in the open portion of the Board meeting, rather than cover this matter in closed session. Out of deference to all for whom this personally affected, we are unable to provide more information publicly.”
The minutes from February also note that the Nominating Committee Task Force recommended “specific campaigning rules” and violations for breaking those rules.
Both Hammond and Klein were elected to the Board of Directors last September, beginning four-year terms that will run through 2025. Both were notably elected as “unvetted members” last year, meaning they were self-nominated and either “chose not to participate in the nomination process or were not recommended by the Nominating Committee.”
Klein has previously served as Vice President of USA Swimming and been the President of the American Swimming Coaches Association (ASCA).
Hammond, a partner at law firm Wallace Jordan Ratliff & Brandt, previously served on USA Swimming’s Board from 2014 to 2018.