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Rift is tearing BAAA executive board apart

A serious intervention needed
  • From left are BAAA executives Tonique Williams-Darling, Mike Sands, Iram Lewis and Harrison Petty, at an earlier BAAA press conference. A letter was issued and signed by Sands, citing a vote of ‘no confidence’ in first vice president Lewis, secretary general Carl Oliver, and Harrison Petty, who was a sitting member of the executive board as a result of his presidency of the BAAA Parents Association of Track and Field Athletes. FILE

Guardian Sports Reporter

Published: May 04, 2013

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It appears that the rift that is tearing the local track and field body apart cannot be repaired unless a serious intervention takes place, this according to Iram Lewis.

Lewis was one of three executive members ousted from the Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations (BAAA) board, after a vote of no confidence on Wednesday. In a press conference on Thursday, Lewis said he would work with BAAA President Mike Sands, but appears to have changed his mind yesterday.

“It looks like it is impossible right now at this point, unless some serious intervention takes place,” said Lewis. “It looks like he doesn’t want to work with me, and as such, I have to respond in kind. I have to look at the big picture now and try to find positive ways on trying to move the BAAA forward.”

Lewis was elected on November 12, 2012 as the first vice president in the association. That same day, Carl Oliver won the general secretary position and Harrison Petty the president of the Parents Association of Track and Field Athletes, a member federation under the BAAA’s umbrella.

Lewis added: “It appears to the public that I have been ousted. But we have more information coming and that is false information. There are certain conditions in which you must carry the vote of no confidence. I was never advised of the procedure.

“In order for a vote of no confidence to take place, the persons must be notified. It has to be listed on the agenda and they have to appear to answer the charges. That never took place. You cannot have a court case where there is no defendant. It sounds to me that they were the plaintiffs, the judge, jury and executioner and that can’t happen. It appears to me that they are confusing a vote of no confidence with a removal of office. A vote of no confidence indicates that ‘I have no confidence in your ability’. However as an elected officer, you must now carry out a procedure called removal of office. Again, that must be carried out in a setting almost like an arbitration court. A hearing where the persons bring their reasons, must take place, so you are able to present your case and the vote is carried out. None of these processes took place so as far as I am concerned, I am still the sitting first vice president of the BAAA.

“Stepping down will show that I am guilty and I am not guilty of anything. I didn’t break any of the rules and regulations of the BAAA, and I am not guilty of doing anything towards the BAAA. So stepping down will admit that I did something wrong.”

Sands was supposed to release a statement yesterday, but nothing was revealed up to press time. All attempts by Guardian Sports to call Sands for comments were unsuccessful.

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