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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

About the RPOF's grievance hearing



Tony DiMatteo, Chairman of the state GOP's Grievance Committee and apparently not a big fan of brevity, released the following statement about the party's Grievance Committee hearing held today in Orlando:


“This weekend’s Grievance Committee Hearing has received a significant amount of publicity at the hands of those involved with the individual   grievances. Though the grievance process is an internal party matter, I believe it has become necessary to explain the proceedings and the Grievance Committee’s role within Republican Party of Florida.

The Grievance Committee is comprised of members of the RPOF State Executive Committee. Our involvement with the RPOF is in a volunteer capacity. Grievances are a formal complaint from one member of the Republican Party of Florida’s county leadership structure to another member of the county leadership structure. All grievances originate at the county level and are filed with the State Party and then referred to the Grievance Committee.

“All parties involved are informed that a grievance as been filed, and given ample time to prepare for the Grievance Committee Hearing. At the hearing, the petitioner and the respondent are given an opportunity to present their arguments.  In the weeks following the meetings, the committee members compile a recommendation for final resolution on each grievance and then present the recommendation to Chairman Greer.

“Several recent news stories have mentioned a “purge” of certain members of county Republican Executive Committees. There is no ‘purge.’ To date,Chairman Greer has only removed one person from the leadership structure of the State Party. The removal came at the unanimous recommendation of the Grievance Committee. Contrary to what has been reported, there have been numerous circumstances when the committee has recommended removal and the Chairman has chosen not to remove a member.
“Additionally, the grievances in question do not “kick-out” members of the Republican Party. The parties involved with the grievances are members of the Republican Party of Florida’s leadership structure. Like any organization, we have an obligation to our members to ensure that our leadership abides by the rules of the organization. Our formal grievance process is the mechanism for this review of the conduct of Republican |leaders. A removed member is still a Republican and eligible to participate in Republican activities, but prohibited from holding a leadership position for a set amount of time.         
“The RPOF Grievance Committee heard two grievances today. The private meeting was closed to the media for the benefit of those involved, as well as members of the grievance committee, who are all private citizens serving in a volunteer capacity. Like any organization, we have a right to conduct this internal party business in private. This is a political party, not a public entity. As private citizens with full time jobs and lives outside of politics, the members of the grievance committee request the courtesy to conduct this private political business without having our images spread all over television and the newspapers without our permission. Over the past several weeks, the State Party has been more than willing to speak to media outlets about this process, while keeping the specific details of the grievances private for the sake of those involved; however, today’s meeting was private, and it would not have been appropriate to discuss the proceedings.
“I think it is worth reiterating that these grievances originate at the county level. The State Party is involved only in order to facilitate the formal mechanism for maintaining organization within the ranks of our county leadership.                                           |
“In closing, this process and the publicity it has received at the hands of those involved, certainly detracts from the true business of the RPOF,which is getting Republicans elected.”

Only one question: Who in the world is eager to spread images of the RPOF's grievance committee across the media?

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 3:53pm]


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