From: Ronald Fox <@LISTS.APA.ORG>
Date: September 30, 2015 at 18:39:05 EDT
Subject: [DIVOFFICERS] Fwd: Interim CEO search
In our efforts to correct, change and reset our moral/ethical compass, some of us appear to be willing to simply toss aside anyone even mentioned in the Report a la Nixon administration folks all of whom were permanently tarred by association. Although I do not accept the analogy as particularly apt, I would observe that those folks broke the law, and after trials, went to prison or were pardoned. Not one of the people mentioned by Hoffman is facing criminal proceedings or ethical complaints to my knowledge. But, even were some of the "tarred" ones facing such actions, they would have the right to defend themselves fully and vigorously --- even if he or she was "guilty as sin" so to speak. What is being proposed is ostracism ""tarring" from our professional association family without a fair chance to defend themselves.
Forced resignations and guilt by association is not simply something that effects their activities in APA. It totally damages their reputations and seriously hinders their ability to secure another position. These things are happening. Some seem willing to let these things play out regardless of the associated damage so we can get on with healing APA; or worse, absolve ourselves by assuring them that it would be better for the organization if they would just disappear without saying they are guilty of anything. They have only to live with the shame and the real life consequences.
When ANY of those implicated by Hoffman want to explain themselves or defend their actions look what they face: a complex brief put together by a team of lawyers who had roughly 8 months to prepare their case and which cost over $5 million. Think of what they would face in attorney fees should they attempt to defend themselves. Imagine paying a lawyer just to read the report much less mount a defense. Few of us have that kind of money. But suppose they simply want to defend themselves w/o an attorney. Think of the time required to study, not just read, the Report , review their own files, recover memories, talk to others who were involved ,etc. it would take time. Time which they have not yet had. Add to that the fact that the Reisner and Soldz recommendations which were presented to the Board of Directors at the Board's request and which were heavily based on the case against APA on which they had been working for 10 years. When the Report was leaked, Reisner/Soldz rightly assumed they could release their recommendations as well. The timing of the release of both documents gave added credence to those recommendations and together with the report itself effectively framed the subsequent discussions. After that any defense or explanation was swimming against a veritable tidal wave of moral outrage and hurt.
Surely it is possible to provide some reasonable way for there to be a fuller discussion of what happened and why. Many of us have friends and colleagues who feel sorely battered about how they have been treated. Please do not tell me that their sins do not compare with torture. Absolutely true. However we must not devour our own without providing a better mechanism for them to heal themselves while we are healing the Association. It took 8 months and $5 million to get a report which shook our foundations, why can we not take the time and effort and money needed to make sure we are minding the rights of our own while trying to determine how best to mind the rights of detainees.
Ronald E Fox, PhD, ABPP
Former President, APA