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AKC Judges’ Privacy and Legal Rights


Do AKC Judges give up their legal rights when signing a judging application? Yes! Attorneys battle it out in part 2 of classic case.


March 30, 2011 | TheDogPress.com

TheDogPress.com Staff


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.


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.”


HERENDEEN’S MILITARY RECORDS: Herendeen is every inch a traditionalist and above all, proud of having served his country. To answer the personally insulting insinuation that he lied about his service, Charles (Skip) Herendeen scrambles to provide keepsake photographs, letters of commendation, his unit insignia, even a military newspaper article, all verifying his service as an Army Sentry Dog handler. It wasn’t enough.

Darrel Hayes and AKC’s legal counsel determine all of that was not adequate proof and demand his “official” military records! With the allotted six days running out, Herendeen reminds John Wade that it took AKC 3 months to ask for information not germane to his application and he would need 3 months to obtain records from the Army. AKC graciously extends the deadline to 30 days.

Herendeen then writes his U.S. Congressman Lamar Smith who persuades the Army to expedite the records which were finally received in October.

Those Military records prove that Charles “Skip” Herendeen was a Sentry Dog Handler during part of his seven years of U.S. Army service. Four of those years in Korea, Southeast Asia, and guarding chemical sites in Okinawa where he also trained South Vietnamese dog handlers.  

Our country thanks Skip Herendeen as well as every person who ever served their country, especially during times of conflict.
THE AKC JUDGES APPLICATION: August heats up as the war of the words begins between the ladies, AKC’s senior attorney Heather McManus and Herendeen’s Ohio attorney Lisa Summers.  McManus points out that Herendeen signed the application form certifying that he is familiar with the “American Kennel Club Rules, Regulations, Policies and Guidelines for Conformation Dog Show Judges” and agreed to abide by them. Of course he did. McManus reiterates what every judge agrees to, emphasizing the line which states “I attest that all the information given on this application is true and correct.”

The judging application also states “AKC’s Staff Committee may suspend or revoke my judge eligibility at any time.” McManus advises Summers that AKC will not process the application because Herendeen has not answered the question about his military service.   Was she aware that his military records would not be available for months? Perhaps AKC did not ever expect to receive the records.

Summers responds that her client will provide such information as is possible but suggests that AKC might be more interested in Herendeen’s knowledge of the breeds he is applying to judge instead of those he handled 30 years ago.

BACK TO EMAIL PRIVACY: Herendeen’s attorney responds, charging that her client has been repeatedly denied his right to due process, pointing out that AKC has refused to produce any “inaccuracies” on his application upon which AKC appears to have delayed judging approval. Lisa Summers again, patiently, explains that Skip had charged no one, that he was simply complying with AOL in filing a police report to find out how Darrel Hayes came into possession of a private email he had sent only to Col. Purkhiser.

Interestingly, in late September, in a letter to Herendeen’s attorney, AKC’s Heather McManus reaffirms AKC’s belief that Herendeen alleged that Darrel Hayes hacked into his computer! She further states that Herendeen’s “allegation to the Ft. Worth police department” is the only remaining aspect of the AKC investigation” although she conveys that AKC is not one bit happy about the fact that Skip refused to be questioned by the Kroll investigative agency which sources say is kept on retainer by AKC.

THE KROLL AGENCY: This would seem to have no bearing whatsoever as the incident to which Ms. McManus refers occurred in 2006 when the Kroll Investigative Agency burst into Herendeen’s place of business, flashing badges and credentials giving the impression that it was an FBI raid! Employees and customers were frightened and subsequently ill at ease even after he ordered Kroll off his premises. Yet a moment’s pause serves to remind that the Kroll incident to which Ms. McManus refers was in regards to his cooperation with AKC regarding the attempted bribe by McAteer/Shipley. A bribe which Herendeen promptly reported to the AKC Rep but which he alleges exacerbated tension between himself and Darrel Hayes. [Details in Part 1]

Ms. Summers tactfully suggests to Ms. McManus that AKC’s Kroll Investigative Agency might want to start in AKC’s own IT Department if they were really that interested in getting to the bottom of the email issue. Apparently the suggestion was disregarded because after all, if Kroll discovered that Mr. Purkhiser, as President of one of the three Judges Organizations, sent the email to Darrell Hayes, it would be embarrassing. It would also be disconcerting to judges to know private comments sent to an organization they believed to be advocating for them, might in fact be sent to the AKC Judges Department.

In October Herendeen sends a letter to John Wade, Judging Operations, in which he emphasizes that he did not accuse anyone with regard to his email. He quotes Darrel Hayes’ response to him in which he says he has “no intention or obligation to provide you with any information regarding the email” and explains that because of Hayes’ position he had no other option but to file a complaint with AOL, etc.

BACK TO THE BRIBERY ATTEMPT: In that letter to Judging Operations, Herendeen revisits the 2006 attempted bribery which he immediately reported and subsequently resulted in lifetime suspensions for the handler and the judge (see part 1) and cites another similar incident in which he had protected AKC. He also explains that he has been hospitalized four times for coronary episodes brought on by the stress imposed on him since 2006. He tells Wade that the latest was three weeks ago, during the time he was desperately trying to meet the impossible time limits set forth in AKC’s demand for response to all those questions, including providing his military records.

He offers to provide Wade with copies of his medical records and “respectfully requests” that Wade revisit the reasons for the delay and not recommend suspension at the Oct. 18th Board meeting. He asks for more time to “comply fully with your requests.” He closes by stating again what no one can question – his love for the American Kennel Club and his wish to continue the legacy left to him by his father and grandfather. It was of no avail. His judging privileges were suspended for life. He is however given opportunity to plead his case at the January 10, 2011 Appeals Board.

As an aside: During one interview, Mr. Herendeen reflected on the bribery attempt he reported to the AKC Rep. As a result, both (judge) Shipley and (handler) McAteer were suspended for life. Within a year after their suspensions, both individuals passed away, one from his own hand, the other gave up his will to live. Herendeen says that not a day goes by that he isn’t haunted by that. With no bitterness, he has admitted that if he had known what the outcome was to be, both for those two life-long participants in the sport, and for himself for having reported it, he would have done things differently, perhaps just walked away from the incident. There was a long silence as we both contemplated the results of his actions to protect the AKC.

This is the young man who served his country with valor, who protected his fellow soldiers, his father's good name, and who protected his own integrity and the American Kennel Club.

The result, what follows, his collapse after stewarding at Westminster, where the Herendeen case is currently, and what may happen to April Fools will be covered in April. We guarantee it will disturb and distress the fancy, if not the AKC… stay tuned.


In the meantime, see SUSPENDED "Compiled 6 months to 5 Years" for the wording and reason for suspending Charles P. Herendeen III. To view Suspended records, you must be an Insider. Click If you're not an Insider Subscriber click here to Subscribe for Insider Information

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Reference & Related Articles and Information, dig for gold below


Herendeen 1 Background ~ Herendeen 2 AKC Judges' Privacy & Legal Rights  ~ Herendeen 3 Clear Message to AKC Judges


AKC’s Proposed Judging Fee ~ Evil Empire Strikes Down AKC


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