Friday, October 7, 2011

Go Away, Former ANA Director, Larry Shepherd!

There is another blogger out there who wants the ANA Board to just shut up!

Sound advice - for recently fired ANA E.D, Larry Shepherd, but not for the Board of Governors. Larry Shepherd was the wrongdoing party here, not the Board. And now Harlan Berk looks like a jerk. Ooh, a rhyme.

Did Larry violate the law?
No, not as near as I can tell.

Did he violate a written policy of the American Numismatic Association?
By reading between the lines, it appears not. The problem is - what he alleged to have done is contrary to almost every personnel policy ever written. As part of the Board's review, they hired a firm to do a personnel policy review. Here is the relevant part of the ANA's initial statement:

"Coinciding with placing Shepherd on leave in August, the board initiated the process for a comprehensive organizational review of management issues and employment matters, and engaged the assistance of Employer’s Resources of Colorado. The human resources consulting firm has identified employment policy deficiencies, and provided recommendations for improving internal
operational practices and positive motivational development as the ANA moves forward."

For those of you who need a translation, here's what that really means:
"Larry told us that we didn't have a policy against what he did, so he's in the clear. We were like, you're kidding, right? So we hired a consulting firm who found out that we really didn't have a policy against it, but we should have. But it doesn't matter, because since Colorado is an "at will" employment state, we don't need to have ANY reason to fire Larry, so we did. Why? Because what he did was just so stinking dumb. Not illegal, not against our old policies, just really stinking dumb - and inappropriate. And besides, the staff was griping a blue streak about Larry at Chicago. We can't very well keep Larry and fire dozens of people who actually make the ANA tick day-to-day, so, hasta la vista, Larry."

Now Larry, and a blogger or two, want to portray the Board of Governors as the bad guy here. Larry seems to be in a fighting mood. Just go the heck away, Larry Shepherd. Just because you're a saint compared to Cippoletti (not a very high bar, really) doesn't mean you're the "second coming". Fact is, Executive Director types are a dime a dozen. Look in any state capitol. You can't swing a dead cat without hitting a dozen people who would make fine ANA Executive Director material. Unless being prone to the osculation of the gluteals of some less than honorable coin dealers is an absolute job requirement, that is. If you need someone who will help the PNG provide cover for coin doctors, then you have to work a little harder to find someone with the requisite amount of ability to "look the other way".

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