REDMAN'S ETHICS COMPLAINT VS. SLOAN DISMISSED
Dear Mr. Sloan:
The USCF Ethics Committee has reached a decision on the complaint
filed by Tim Redman against Sam Sloan. By a vote of 9-1, with Camaratta and
Niro recused and one member not voting, the Committee has decided to
dismiss this complaint.
When the complaint was first received, the Committee examined it to
determine whether it raised issues which were relevant to the USCF Code of
Ethics. After discussion, the Committee voted 8-4, with one not voting, to
accept the case. The majority agreed that U.S. Chess Live, which was the
subject of the Sloan statements cited by Mr. Redman, was an "activity
sponsored or sanctioned by USCF," as required by the Code for the
Committee's jurisdiction to apply.
The case turns upon the interpretation of this sentence, written by
Mr. Sloan and cited by Mr. Redman in his complaint: "It installs spyware
into your system, enabling the operators to read your entire hard drive,
including your credit card numbers, your bank account passwords and the
like." After deliberation, the majority agreed that because of the freedom
of expression issues involved, a very high standard of proof would be
required for the plaintiff to prevail. Specifically, it was agreed that we
would have to find that:
(1) The Sloan statement cited by Redman is clearly false.
(2) Sloan knew it was false when he made it, and
(3) In making this statement, Sloan intended to do harm to the development
of U.S. Chess Live, "an activity sponsored or sanctioned by the USCF," as
specified in the Code of Ethics.
The majority finds that Mr. Redman has not met his burden of proof on
any of these three elements. We do not agree that the Sloan statement is
clearly false and we find Mr. Redman's analysis of the statement
unconvincing. Further, we do not find that any of the evidence presented
demonstrates that Mr. Sloan lied, that he intended to do harm to U.S. Chess
Live or that any actual harm occurred. Accordingly, we find for the
defendant and the complaint is dismissed.
By a vote of 10-0, with Camaratta and Niro recused and one member not
voting, the Committee agrees that this letter fairly represents the opinion
of the majority.
(Chairman, USCF Ethics Committee)