Olympic organizers appear to have changed their minds about the need to threaten members of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee board with removal if they disclose confidential information.
A proposal that had been approved last month by the board's executive committee was tabled Thursday in a surprise vote called for by SLOC Chairman Bob Garff."It was determined not all the information was available," Garff told the full board at its monthly meeting. He suggested not everyone affected had been informed.
Although Garff said the proposed amendment to the board's bylaws could be raised again, that's not likely. Earlier Thursday, in a closed-door meeting, the executive committee reversed itself.
Why? To make the issue go away.
Organizers have been criticized for appearing to be too secretive about their plans for the 2002 Winter Games, and the confidentiality amendment wasn't helping. At the executive committee meeting, a trustee questioned whether the amendment was even needed since the bylaws already allow for trustees to be removed for cause.
Also unclear is what affect amending the bylaws to specify that trustees could be removed for disclosing confidential information would have on trustees who represent the governor and other officials and organizations.
The amendment, which has never been made public, reportedly would cover discussions during closed-door meetings as well as other information covered under the SLOC's Code of Ethics.
Confidential information, according to the SLOC Code of Ethics, is "information regarding the corporation's activities that is not available to the public."
Its disclosure, according to the code, would either provide someone with a competitive advantage in dealing with SLOC "or could otherwise be used to the detriment of the corporation."
The confidentiality issue surfaced in April, with SLOC officials complaining about a Deseret News story that disclosed details in advance of a presentation during the closing ceremonies of the 1998 Winter Games in Nagano, Japan.
Unnamed board members were accused of leaking the story to the newspaper and of violating contracts with Nagano organizers and the International Olympic Committee.
Neither took any action against SLOC, but the board decided to have an amendment to its bylaws drafted so any member who releases confidential information can be removed.
Also Thursday, SLOC Chief Executive Officer Frank Joklik announced that Cindy Gillespe will be rejoining the organizing committee as its senior vice president of federal relations.
Gillespe had stepped down earlier this year, citing the need for a less-demanding work life but had agreed to stay on as a consultant until a replacement could be named.
Joklik said Thursday organizers were able to persuade her to come back full time. Gillespe had a similar job with organizers of the 1996 Summer Games in Atlanta.