• Report: #1022436

Complaint Review: United States Equestrian Federation USEF Board Member Mason Phelps

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  • Submitted: Sat, March 02, 2013
  • Updated: Sat, March 02, 2013

  • Reported By: Elizabeth Mandarino — BEDMINSTER New Jersey United States of America
United States Equestrian Federation USEF Board Member Mason Phelps
12012 South Shore Blvd., Suite 105 Wellington, Florida United States of America

United States Equestrian Federation USEF Board Member Mason Phelps Sonja Keating, In House Counse United States Equestrian Federation Tolerates and Allows its Board Members to Disseminate Disciminatory and False Information about its Members Wellington, Florida

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OFFICIAL PROTEST/CHARGE

Date: February 6, 2013                Competition: Pensacola Winter Classic III

Location: Pensacola. Florida       Date of Competition: (see below)

Addressed to: USEF Hearing Committee  ($200 Protest Fee)

I AM a Trainer, Agent, Owner and Parent of Junior Exhibitor with a disability.

Full Name(s) and Addresses of Individual/Entity Accused:

Mason Phelps USEF Board Member

Phelps Media Group, Inc.

Phone 561.753.3389

Fax 561.753.3386

12012 South Shore Blvd., Suite 105

Wellington, FL 33414

 

John Long USEF CEO

United States Equestrian Federation

4047 Iron Works Parkway

Lexington, KY 40511

Phone: 859-258-2472

Fax: 859-231-6662

 

Sonja Keating USEF In House Counsel

United States Equestrian Federation

4047 Iron Works Parkway

Lexington, KY 40511

Phone: 859-258-2472

Fax: 859-231-6662

 

Rule number(s) of each rule alleged to have been violated:

 

GR702 Violations

1. A violation is any act prejudicial to the best interests of the Federation, including but not limited to the following:

a. Violation of the rules of the Federation.

d. Acting or inciting or permitting any other to act in a manner contrary to the rules of the Federation, or in a
manner deemed improper, unethical, dishonest, unsportsmanlike or intemperate, or prejudicial to the best interests of the sport and the Federation.

e. Any act committed or remark made in connection with the competition considered offensive and/or made with the
intent to influence or cast aspersions on the character or integrity of the licensed officials, approaching a judge before or after a decision without first obtaining permission from the show committee or steward/technical delegate, inspecting a judges card without the judges permission, or public verbal abuse of competition officials

Bylaw 102 Objectives

Section 2. NGB COMPLIANCE. As the NGB and in accordance with the Ted Stevens Olympic and Amateur Sports Act and the
United States Olympic Committee (USOC), the Federation shall:

5. protect the right of any athlete, coach, trainer, manager, administrator, or official to participate in athletic
competition in equestrian events; and provide an equal opportunity to amateurs, coaches, trainers, managers, administrators, and officials to participate in amateur athletic competition without discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, age, sex, or national origin and with fair notice and opportunity for a hearing to any amateur athlete, coach, trainer, manager,
administrator, or official before declaring such individual ineligible to participate.

Bylaw 342 General Standards of Conduct for Directors and Officers

Section
1. DISCHARGE OF DUTIES.

Each Director shall discharge the Directors duties as a Director, including the Directors duties as a member of a committee of the Board, and each officer with discretionary authority shall discharge the officers duties under that authority (i) in good faith; (ii) with the care an ordinarily prudent person in a like position would exercise under similar circumstances; and (iii) in a manner the Director or officer reasonably believes to be in the best interests of the Federation.

Date(s) of Alleged Violations

January 24, 2013 and January 25, 2013
- Dissemination by a USEF board member of a racially slurred and discriminatory video based on national origin of a USEF member in good standing.

Description/Summary


Subchapter 6-a Filing and Contents of Protests, Charges and Athlete Grievances (GR602) states that any member of
the Federation may file a protest or charge or grievance with the Hearing Committee pertaining to any matter within the cognizance of the Federation and alleging a violation of any provision of the Federations Bylaws or Rules, the
Amateur Sports Act of 1978, or the USOCs Constitution or Bylaws.

On January 24th, 2013, Mason Phelps[1], disseminated a defamatory and racially slurred video based on national origin on
his Facebook page with the following message:

You wont believe this check it out.

On this date, my daughter and I were attending the Pensacola Winter Classic Week III.  The video was created on Xtranormals website which claims to be a website that makes stories come to life. This Xtranormal video was created by an anonymous user who falsely depicted me with the intent to harass, defame and cause harm to me, and my daughter Emma Rose Mandarino. This video and another referred to me as being Mrs. Gambino, a member of the Gambino crime family. Mr. Phelps knew this video was a portrayal of me and disseminated this video to members of the equine community, including but not limited to the show manager and a judge officiating, which is discriminatory behavior unbecoming of a USEF board member.  The exact number of USEF Executive members, USEF Officers. USEF Board members, USEF judges, USEF stewards, USEF employees, USEF members and the reach to the equine community at large is immeasurable but since Mr. Phelps, himself, is not only a USEF Board member but the owner of the largest equine public relations firm, Mr. Phelps post was far reaching well beyond the equine community members noted above.

Specifically, Mr. Phelps violated GR702.1 when he acted in a prejudicial manner and against to the best interests of the
Federation, including but not limited to the following:

1. Violating the rules of the Federation.

2. Acting in a manner contrary to the rules of the Federation, or in a manner deemed improper, unethical, dishonest,
unsportsmanlike or intemperate, or prejudicial to the best interests of the sport and the Federation.

3. Remarking in such a way in connection with a competition considered offensive and/or made with the intent
to influence a licensed official(s).

Mr. Phelps also violated Bylaw 342, which are the general standards of conduct for directors and officers of the
USEF in their discharge of duties by disseminating the video on his Facebook page. Mr. Phelps failed to discharge the Directors duties as a Director, (I) in good faith; (ii) with the care an ordinarily prudent person in a like position would exercise under similar circumstances; and (iii) in a manner the Director or officer reasonably believes to be in the best interests of the Federation.

In addition, Mr. Phelps violated Bylaw 102 Section 2.5 by disseminating a racially slurred video based on the
discrimination of the national origin of a USEF member in good standing.

With all due respect, your CEO, Mr. Long and your in house counsel, Ms. Keating actively and knowingly violated their obligations by not taking immediate action against Mr. Phelps immediately after they learned of his wrongdoing and violated their duties as CEO and in house general counsel.

Clearly, Mr. Long and Ms. Keating have not acted in the best interest of the sport by allowing this vile and discriminatory act to be committed by a board member against a USEF member in good standing with out substantial action against Mr. Phelps.

Specifically, Mr. Long and Ms. Keating violated GR702.1 when they acted in a prejudicial manner and against
to the best interests of the Federation, including but not limited to the following:

1. Violating the rules of the Federation.

2. Acting in a manner contrary to the rules of the Federation, or in a manner deemed improper, unethical, dishonest,
unsportsmanlike or intemperate, or prejudicial to the best interests of the sport and the Federation.

Mr. Long and Ms. Keating also violated Bylaw 342, which are the general standards of conduct for directors and officers
of the USEF in their discharge of duties by not taking action immediate substantial against Mr. Phelps. Specifically, they failed to discharge their duties as officers by not acting, (i) in good faith; (ii) with the care an ordinarily prudent person in a like position would exercise under similar circumstances; and (iii) in a manner the Director or officer reasonably
believes to be in the best interests of the Federation.

In addition, Mr. Long and Ms. Keating violated Bylaw 102 Section 2.5 by not taking immediate and substantial action
against a board member who disseminated a racially slurred video based on the discrimination of the national origin of a USEF member in good standing.

I ask for an expedited review by the Hearing Committee, with immediate action taken against Mr. Phelps, Ms. Keating
and Mr. Long, as this must be addressed immediately. My due process rights as a USEF member and my civil rights as a United States citizen cannot and must not be ignored.

[1]
Mr. Phelps is on the Board of Directors of USEF and owns Phelps Media International, which is a public relations and marketing firm for the equine community.  

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 03/02/2013 06:47 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/United-States-Equestrian-Federation-USEF-Board-Member-Mason-Phelps/Wellington-Florida-33414/United-States-Equestrian-Federation-USEF-Board-Member-Mason-Phelps-Sonja-Keating-In-House-1022436. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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