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A Clear Message to AKC Judges

April 2011 | TheDogPress


Charles (Skip) Herendeen reported an attempted bribe and lost his international and AKC judging privileges, which for a third-generation dog man was catastrophic.


04|27|11 - That pretty well sums it up although there were some bumps along the way.  The one with Darrel Hayes was like driving through a foggy night and running over Godzilla who rises up and grabs the back bumper.  Cut to another fantasy scene.


A blissful Saturday morning, excited kids and parents on the way to a wonderful AKC dog show at Disneyland.  Fade to manicured green grass rings under circus-like tents, smiling judges admiring classes of wagging, beautiful dogs shown by proud owners and professional handlers hired for the weekend.  Scattered around the rings are SUVs and vans with friendly people clustered around fenced play-yards full of adorable puppies.


We’re told that Mr. Hayes, VP of Judging Operations is retiring this year so the idyllic scene of days gone by may become reality as AKC dog shows continue to dwindle into obscurity.

Hayes can retire secure in the knowledge that our reportage has most judges running scared.  Perhaps that was AKC’s intent since AKC judges had the audacity to rebel over repeated attempts to impose annual fees [ref #1].  And then there was the matter of soliciting for assignments, [ref #2] and before that, the Right To Work for other dog show organizations.


Since TheDogPress broke this story, our office has been inundated with comments and opinions. (part 1 Case Background & part 2 Judges' Privacy & Legal Rights.)  More than a few tried to make sense of what was happening to Skip Herendeen compared to Jackie Stacey who was suspended for a month for using “bad judgment” in giving BIS to a dog she bred and co-owned.  Ironically, both appeals were held the same day and the Appeals Board reduced Stacey to only a reprimand.  One subscriber brought up Fred Lanting’s lifetime suspension [ref #3] as another example of “overkill.”


What Trial Board?

Several anxious callers wanted to know “what happened at the Trial Board?”  Reactions varied from incredulous to “doesn’t surprise me” when told there was no trial board.  We could only suggest they wait for the next edition or call Herendeen directly.  A few did so but most judges put careful distance between themselves and, as one woman put it, “AKC’s bad boy.”  One subscriber wanted to know “Why didn't Herendeen demand a trial board, what’s he got to hide?"


To clear that up, Charles (Skip) Herendeen asked that we emphasize he has nothing to hide, that in fact he did request a trial board but was denied. He was told “AKC BOD acted within the power granted to it under the Bylaws of the AKC to approve or revoke an individual’s right to judge.”  He remains convinced that everyone is protected by law and that AKC violated the Sixth Amendment which affirms what Common Law provided – the right to confront one’s accuser.  Herendeen also cites “the 14th Amendment right of due process which AKC has previously said they are under no obligation to provide as they are a “Private Club.”  Others have said that has nothing to do with corporate law or petty club squabbles.  Apparently Herendeen’s attorney does not believe it applies in NY State corporate law.


The attorney did however request that the AKC Board reinstate Herendeen’s judging privileges on the basis that the AKC failed to follow “AKC’s own rules and regulations in regard to alleged misconduct.”  In a letter dated March 30th, Farley cites Article 12 (Discipline) which requires that the President shall investigate a matter, give notice to the Board and direct that charges be filed, which shall be sent to a Trial Board.  Significantly, it does not say “may direct charges” or “could be sent to a Trial Board."


What AKC Charges?

In asking that his letter be submitted to the April 11th and 12th 2011 board meeting, attorney Matt Farley also cites Article 13 which requires the charges to be specifically stated and the defendant to be given opportunity to present a defense. Additionally, Article 15 speaks to penalties coming “after a hearing” by a Trial Board and therefore does not allow a judge or any person involved with the AKC to be suspended without a hearing from a Trial Board.


Executive Secretary James Crowley would have submitted the letter to the AKC Board but we do not know if there was any discussion or if it was just waved away by the current board. 


We called AKC’s THE HERENDEEN CASE CONTINUES - Go To Page 2General Counsel Margaret Poindexter but she has not returned the call which would seem to say AKC has nothing to say.  Perhaps we will read about it in Dog News…



Ref #1 Annual Fees Levied On AKC Judges

Ref #2 AKC Judges Finally Allowed To Solicit

Ref #3 AKC Judge Lanting’s Crime & Punishment