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The Whole Story

Here are the facts from my perspective:

Early this year, I played a bracketed Swiss at the Palmetto Regional with Mary Chilcote, Meckwell, and Chris Compton. I sat North and tossed a board on the floor after we had gotten a poor result. Sometime during the next hand I noticed a card sitting face down next to a pocket and inserted it. This was a three-way match, so I thought it prudent to make sure the board was correct before our opponents took the boards to the other table. I counted the cards and found 14 in one hand and 12 in another, so I moved the extra card, which I thought was the one that had fallen out and I had replaced. I should have checked more thoroughly, but I thought I had fixed it. When we compared results, our opponents said there was a fouled board and I realized it was my screwup and owned up to it. They had won 2 IMPs on the board, and we decided to just let that result stand. I should have gone to the director, and I wish I could go back in time and do so.

This was early in the week and I thought nothing of it until the following week when two close friends told me one of my opponents was spreading stories of my “foul play.” About a month later I was contacted by Jim Miller of the ACBL who asked about the incident and I repeated the story exactly as it happened. A short time later I was contacted by Sam Whitten of the ACBL and had the same discussion. I was informed I was to attend a meeting in Chicago of the Ethical Oversight Committee, which I used to be a member of. Both Jim and Sam attended the hearing and testified that I had told them the exact same story. I was told I could bring a representative with me but not a lawyer. I declined, thinking no one could possibly believe I could be stupid enough to change a hand that had already been played.

The end result of my not calling the director was that I was found guilty of four things, most of which I’ve never heard of. The most significant seems to be “prearranging a deal or part thereof,” which I still don’t know exactly what it means or how it pertains to what happened. Apparently it carries with it a mandatory penalty of 13 months probation and 25% of total masterpoints. However, I was found NOT GUILTY of cheating, and I was told the public statement would make this clear. Yet, now I see the statement reads like I was found guilty of cheating and given a lenient sentence. I am 100% not guilty of anything other than stupidity. I have a spotless five-decade record; I never have and never would cheat the game I love. I feel my reputation has been damaged and am extremely hurt. I have every interest in getting all the facts out, so I welcome all questions from Bridge Winners users; I have nothing to hide.

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