Dave Harper, editor of Numismatic News, wrote a blog entry reporting that the American Numismatic Association Board of Governors unanimously voted to rescind the Presidential Award presented to former Executive Director Christopher Cipoletti. Cipoletti was given the award by then outgoing President Bill Horton in 2007 at the banquet held during the World’s Fair of Money in Milwaukee.
Harper reports that the request was made by Horton and brought up by President Barry Stuppler during the Board Meeting held at the National Money Show in Portland, Oregon. Former ANA President Bob Campbell told the Board that he thought this was a bad idea. Harper further said:
Legal Counsel Ron Sirna said the motion was in order after remarking that Cipoletti had cost the organization $2 million to $3 million in litigation. “There is a substantial basis for Mr. Horton’s request,” Sirna said.
With all due respect to Ron Sirna, while there might be a legal basis for the action is it really the right thing to do?
I would be hard pressed to find many ANA members who believes that Cipoletti did a good job. But what I find disturbing is that Horton is asking for the proverbial “do over” for his bad decision he made. Horton ignored the undercurrent of complaints about Cipoletti that were part of the 2007 Board of Trustees elections. Or Horton ignored what was being said. But even with the griping that was gripping the pages of the numismatic publications, Horton found time to defend the Board, himself, and Cipoletti in published letters.
Horton created this situation while he was ANA President by turning a deaf ear to the voices of discontent and defied his constituents to give the Presidential Award to Cipoletti. Now, the current Board of Governors wants to rescind the award because the legal bill for litigating Cipoletti’s dismissal cost too much. Apparently, this Board has not learned that you can’t put the toothpaste back in the tube.
Former ANA President Bob Campbell was right when he said it was a bad idea. It looks like sour grapes. This is just a bad idea. Regardless of what happened subsequent to the award, what’s done is done. The ANA should drop this issue and just move forward.