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AKC Judges’ Privacy and Legal Rights

TheDogPress - April 2011


Do AKC Judges give up all legal rights when signing a judging application?  The answer as the attorneys battle it out in Part 2 of this classic case.


Forced to give up his right to privacy and defend his military service isn’t as painful to AKC judge Charles P. Herendeen III as was breaking 80 years of family tradition. Click now if you missed Part 1, Herendeen Case Background.

Having worked his way through the breeds to become AKC approved for Best in Show, the Hound Group and the major Sporting breeds, “Skip” Herendeen confidently applied for the balance of the Sporting Group. The application was familiar routine and he expected quick approval.

There followed a series of events which most people would agree 1) were not of his making, 2) showed the underbelly of the beast and 3) destroyed his judging career which, for this man, means his life.


JUDGING THE JUDGE: A five year judging suspension is career-wise, the same as the lifetime suspension that was first imposed.  We will not presume to say that the Lifetime judging suspension seemed like an incredibly vindictive sentence, only that when Herendeen demanded and was granted opportunity to appeal, the AKC board reduced it to five years.  Follow the evidence and events, both pro and con, and decide for yourself.


To recap, prior to his application in May 2010, Herendeen had reported a bribery attempt which resulted in the lifetime suspension of handler Davin McAteer and judge Doug Shipley.  Instead of thanks, Herendeen says that ethical act resulted in a dispute with VP of Judging Operations Darrel Hayes regarding a tape recording [see Part 1]


In June an email Herendeen had sent to Dog Judges Assoc. Of America (DJAA) President Col. Purkhiser in which he expressed disagreement with AKC’s proposed judging fees emerges in the possession of Darrel Hayes.  (Hayes was one of the main architects of the proposed judging fees.) Herendeen questions how that happened.  Hayes replies to Herendeen “I have no intention or obligation to provide you with any information regarding the email.”


Purkhiser denies having shared Herendeen’s email with Hayes [Part 1] so Herendeen initiates a security inquiry with AOL which in fact, requires a police subpoena. Herendeen follows through as does a Ft. Worth detective who attempts to question Hayes simply because he was an unintended recipient of Herendeen’s private email. There could have been more recipients so the detective was starting at the most logical point in his investigation. Their investigation could not fully track the email sent to Purkhiser as it had been deleted from the ISP servers but the Ft. Worth Forensic Lab concluded that the only way Hayes could have received Herendeen’s private email was from Purkhiser.


Darrel Hayes, VP of Judging Operations gets really bent out of shape about that! Apparently Hayes thinks Herendeen filed a legal complaint against him but Herendeen insists he filed no complaint against anyone since he had no way of knowing who had compromised his privacy. Herendeen admits that tempers flare over this incident. So much so that Darrell Hayes hires his own attorney (paid for by AKC) and Herendeen, the injured party, finds himself threatened with a lawsuit!

By July, after several polite inquiries as to the delay in approving his application, one of which resulted in Hayes suggesting he might want to withdraw it (!?) Herendeen is becoming impatient and less tactful. Emails to and from AKC are now being cc’d to other Board members (by both parties) and AKC has involved its General Counsel, Margaret Poindexter. 


Does AKC pay people to scour the internet for scraps of information or statements made by judges?  After meeting all other demands, incredibly, AKC wants “official documentation” supporting his military service as a Sentry Dog handler because reference to that tidbit was found on the “info dog Website 6/9/10.”

AKC QUESTIONS… In a letter dated July 27, 2010, Herendeen is asked to provide - by August 3rd - in what years he handled, including “documentation” proving he was “a professional handler.”  In addition to listing shows he “most frequently” attended to “present clients’ dogs” Judging Ops wants him to name the “top 10 breeds” he handled and finished.  He is also asked to specify which years he handled Kay Finch’s Afghans, how many he finished, and to provide “their registered names and numbers.”


Noteworthy: on the day preceding the above letter, Darrel Hayes replied to Herendeen’s mother on AKC letterhead stating “Dear Rosemary, we do not have any issue or question whether Skip was a licensed handler..."


Herendeen struggles to comply, unearthing records going back to 1974 when he applied for and was granted approval as an AKC Licensed Handler.  There were no computers then and who would keep handling records after having been granted Judging approval in 1997?  Even today, who would keep what we believe AKC meticulously records? Fortunately, Herendeen met the challenge.

But there’s more. Surely AKC has
litter records but Herendeen is asked what year he began breeding, which breeds he bred, and in a poor choice of words, “Please state the years whelped and include litter numbers.”

Then referring to breeds for which he is already approved to judge, AKC wants to know the number of Champions he finished in six Hound breeds, AND the “the owner(s) name AND the dog’s registered name AND registration number for each?” AKC also wants the registered names AND numbers for each Sporting and Terrier breed he finished, AND the owners’ information.

AKC wants to know his dog activities between the time he “left the service and began handling professionally.” What that has to do with anything is unknown but AKC even questions how he could have had a signed, attested-to ringside observation listed on the same day he was judging? Herendeen explains he did so while on a break and provides further substantiation.


Coincidentally, that demand came soon after Herendeen asked Darrel Hayes, VP Judging Operations how he came in possession of his private email to Col. Purkhiser.THE HERENDEEN CASE CONTINUES - Go To Page 2


Does AKC pay people to scour the internet for scraps of information or statements made by judges?  The above demands were met but then, incredibly, AKC wants “official documentation” supporting his military service as a Sentry Dog handler because reference to that tidbit was found on the “info dog Website 6/9/10.”


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