My name is Victor Jusino and I am a member of the Board of Directors. For those of you who don’t know me, I have been involved in the league as a volunteer and board member for over seven years. Having previously served as counsel for the board, I am fully familiar with . As such, with the blessing of the Board of Directors, I am writing to provide the board’s response to the many questions raised by Patch readers.
First, let me state that I am not a member of the “clique” that many refer to in their posts. The only board member I am tied to is my wife, Amanda, and she is not related to any other board member. I should also point out that while Amanda and I are friendly with our fellow board members, we do not socialize with any of them on a regular basis.
Amanda and I, like many of our fellow board members, volunteer for one reason and one reason only- to make our league the best it could be for our children. I say all of this because I want to dispel the notion that the board is some sort of sorority or fraternity that has it out for Mr. Dean; nothing could be further from the truth.
Returning to the issue at hand and starting from the very beginning, it is true that Mr. Dean was not approved to manage or coach during the 2011 season. The decision regarding whether a person is selected to manage or coach is arrived at through a vote by the entire Board of Directors. As you may know, prior to each season, the board conducts a closed meeting to discuss and select all managers and coaches. Without going into specifics, Mr. Dean’s application to coach last season was unsuccessful. Since learning of the board’s decision, Mr. Dean has done nothing but attempt to destroy the reputations of the PTWLL Board of Directors and its members.
How, you might ask? Well, based upon my review of the information provided to the board, immediately after Mr. Dean’s application to manage/coach was denied, he began to repeatedly spread vicious, unfounded rumors regarding our handling of league funds.
Specifically, information began to trickle back to the board from other league members (parents) that Mr. Dean was openly accusing the board, and individual members, of misappropriating funds—i.e. stealing.
In addition, it was brought to the board’s attention that Mr. Dean had gone even further and contacted one of the league’s vendors. It was learned that during his interaction with the vendor, he advised them that our league was having financial difficulties resulting from the board misappropriating funds, another unfounded allegation that was communicated without a scintilla of evidence.
Finally, once again from communications received from parents of participants in the league, it was learned that Mr. Dean was issuing threats against certain individual board members.
For those of you who still feel that there may be some merit to , rest assured, there isn’t.
How can I say that with total confidence? In truth, what many of you don’t know is that in addition to Mr. Dean's (through his own bragging) admitted contacting of Crimestoppers to levy accusations of stealing against the board and individual members, an “anonymous complaint” was also forwarded to the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs who, in turn, subpoenaed our financial records for the past three years. Over the span of a couple of months, the division examined our records with a fine-toothed comb and advised that our financials were, and are, in order.
Given that the league was not sanctioned in any way and none of us was arrested, it goes without saying that the division did not find any evidence of wrongdoing or any problems in the way that we handle the league’s resources. To be clear, the funds generated by the league, for our children, have been fully accounted for and have been expended for the betterment of the league. Our books are square and always have been. If they weren’t, you would have heard about it.
Returning to Mr. Dean’s matter and the actions taken by the board, it should be noted that prior to learning of the above allegations and threats, the board had offered to meet with Mr. Dean to discuss his managing/coaching situation. He refused our invitation.
After the board learned of Mr. Dean’s actions, it decided that action needed to be taken and a disciplinary hearing was to be scheduled. In that time frame, the board was contacted by Mr. Dean’s attorney regarding his unsuccessful application to manage/coach. After receiving the letter, I spoke with Mr. Dean’s attorney via telephone. During that conversation I advised him of the information that the board had obtained regarding his client’s actions. I further advised him of the board’s intention to commence a disciplinary hearing and urged him to have his client attend.
Hours before the hearing was scheduled to commence, I spoke with Mr. Dean’s attorney who advised that neither he nor Mr. Dean would be attending the hearing. Once it was determined that Mr. Dean had not had a change of heart (we waited 15 minutes), the disciplinary hearing was conducted. At that hearing, all of the evidence was evaluated and it was determined that Mr. Dean had violated the PTWLL Code of Conduct and the league's rules and regulations. It was also decided that sanctions needed to be imposed.
Once the committee agreed on the sanctions to be imposed, they were memorialized in writing and forwarded to Mr. Dean. Mr. Dean was then given a specified amount of time in which to comply with the conditions set forth by the board and if he did so, he would be have been permitted to attend all of his son’s games.
Now, to be fair, none of the information set forth above was made public. Rightly or wrongfully, it was withheld from the public as a whole in an attempt to avoid a public spectacle. The committee did so hoping that Mr. Dean would accept responsibility for his actions, clear all of our names of all alleged wrongdoing and go back to watching his child play baseball. Instead he decided to argue his case in the media. It is because of his poor decisions that we now find ourselves in a position where we have no choice but to set the record straight.
Now, it is easy for outside observers who are unaffected by Mr. Dean’s actions to say that the board has overreacted. However, we did no such thing. We as a board went above and beyond to avoid imposing any sanctions. From the outset, we offered Mr. Dean the opportunity to meet with the board so that he could air his grievances and put an end to the nonsense. He declined our invitations.
It is also important to note that approximately a dozen league board meetings have been held since Mr. Dean learned that he would not be eligible to manage or coach last season. He did not attend one. If he had, he would have seen, firsthand, how the board conducts its business. Instead, he decided to wage war against the board. When he got nowhere with his vendetta, he lobbied Little League International in an attempt to get his sanctions reversed. Little League International reviewed all of the materials, including Mr. Dean's emails. After conducting its review of the case, Little League International advised Mr. Dean that we had acted in accordance with our bylaws and that it supported our process and our decision.
With no place left to turn, Mr. Dean finally forwarded a request for a meeting in 2012, well after he chose to attack the board in the media. In an attempt to put this matter to rest and despite the fact that Mr. Dean refused to meet with us in May 2011, the disciplinary committee agreed to meet with Mr. Dean in March even though it was under no obligation to grant his request.
Much to our chagrin, the meeting was a disappointment. Instead of addressing the conduct that he had engaged in, he focused his attention on trying to guilt the committee into reversing our decision by attempting to stress the effect the ban was having on his son.
To be clear, we are and always have been, mindful of the fact that a child is being affected by this situation. However, what everyone seems to forget or wishes to ignore is the fact that Mr. Dean is sole cause of his son’s heartbreak. He holds the key to his child’s happiness, not the board. He is not a victim, the board members are. He alone decided to engage in character assassination. We did not.
It truly pains me to write this letter because it clear that no one really wins in situations like this. The only reason why I wrote this letter is because Mr. Dean continues to throw gasoline on the fire. Rather than admit the error of his ways, he has elected to portray himself as a victim in the hope that public sentiment will cause the committee to reverse its decision.
The question I have for those of you who think committee should accede to his wishes is this: What message would that send to our kids?
If Mr. Dean is entitled to maintain his position that he did nothing wrong despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, why then isn’t the board allowed to maintain its position when the truth is clearly on its side? It doesn’t make sense.
The board and the committee have never attacked Mr. Dean. What Mr. Dean has done is to attempt to ruin the reputations of hardworking, honest volunteers who take time out of their busy schedules to give back to the children of this town. Personally, it is my belief that his offensive conduct coupled with his refusal to correct the error of his ways warranted the actions ultimately taken by the committee: to ban him from league events until he sets the record straight and accepts responsibility for his actions.
Let's be clear. He didn't ask questions, he slung mud without any evidence of wrongdoing. Legal redress is not what we seek because to do so would be to waste league money to the detriment of the kids. What we want is for the wrong that he committed to be corrected.
At present, all Mr. Dean needs to do to have the ban partially lifted and to be allowed to watch his son play ball is to man up and admit that all of the allegations he levied against the board and certain individuals lacked merit (as determined by the agencies contacted) and to apologize to those he sought to injure. That is not too much to ask.
The simple truth is that Mr. Dean is the only one keeping Mr. Dean from attending his son’s games and no amount of spin is going to change that fact.
Board Member, Par-Troy West Little League
Editor's note: Scott Dean insisted to Patch that he has not accused the league of stealing. Asked whether he initiated complaints with Crimestoppers and the state Division of Consumer Affairs, Dean said he was under the impression that those sorts of communications were intended to be anonymous and refused to comment on Jusino's allegations. He maintained that he did nothing for which he sees a need to apologize. A representative from the Division of Consumer Affairs told Patch that it does not comment on cases and cannot confirm or deny the veracity of Jusino's assertion.
Have an opinion to share on any subject? Send Patch your Letter to the Editor: firstname.lastname@example.org.