SPRAGGETT ON CHESS
IN KEEPING WITH THE POLICY OF THIS BLOG TO SHOW THE REAL—AND OFTEN UGLY—FACE OF OUR COLLECTIVE CHESS COMMUNITY
U.S. CHESS TEACHER TO BE JAILED
FOR LIFE!U.S. Fugitive child molestor Robert Snyder was caught in Belize under the name Augustin Rios – but on Friday he was back before a judge in his home state of Colorado.
According to news reports from that state, he is likely to remain behind bars after a hearing Friday morning in which Judge Dave Williams set the former Fort Collins chess teacher’s cash-only bond at a combined $1.5 million.
The bond was set that high because he is considered a virtual certain flight risk. If he is unable to come up with the $1.5 million in cash, he will be placed on ankle monitoring and enhanced pretrial supervision, be confined to his residence and have no contact with anyone younger than 18.
Snyder was hiding out in Belize under the name Augustyn Rios since 2008 after his release from jail and after being convicted of child molestation charges. His two victims in the case dating back to 2005 were both students at Snyder’s local chess academy. Following his apparent pattern, Snyder had taken up a job as a chess instructor in Belize. He also married a female police officer.
Snyder was deported from Belize earlier this month after he was featured on the “America’s Most Wanted” television program and identified by a parent as a chess teacher at a Belize City elementary school.
ONTARIO MOST CORRUPT CHESS COMMUNITY IN NORTH AMERICA ? PERHAPS…IT IS TIME TO CALL THE POLICE!
$120,000 disappears into thin air and no questions asked! _____________________________________________
THE FACES OF THE PRESENT SCANDAL: REMEMBER THEM!
Clockwise from upper left: Eric van Dusen , Chris Mallon, Barry Thorvardson, Hal Bond, Stijn de Kerpel
The readers were informed in a December 5 blog entry about the on-going scandal in Canadian chess involving 120,000 dollars of Ontario Trillium Foundation money that disappeared between 2006 and 2007. Perhaps ‘disappeared’ is not the most accurate word: for the then Ontario Chess Association (OCA) President, Barry Thorvardson, simply refuses to say what happened to it and long time OCA cronies Eric van Dusen, Stijn de Kerpel, Hal Bond and Chris Mallon have now decided not to pursue the issue nor to contact the authorities, despite the wish of the membership to discover the truth of what really happened.
This laissez-faire attitude by (ex)OCA officials towards their civic and legal responsibilities in the face of Mr. Thorvardson’s refusal to cooperate and account for the missing money has shocked many within the Canadian Chess Community. It is a complete abdication of collective responsibilities. Some members are wondering why the police have not been called in to investigate. What do they have to fear?
Others are wondering if the real problem does not run deeper than just an isolated episiode of flagrant disregard of Canadian law and might be symptomatic of bigger problems in the OCA leadership. Case in point: an ex-OCA official who just couldn’t give a shit about the entire sordid affair is Roger Patterson (now Victoria Chess Club organizer) :
”As much as many people have been critical of Barry over the Trillium spending, he thought of it, he did the prep work, he did all of the leg work in getting it. None of that money was the OCAs….OCA members have not been hard done by this.” (Roger Patterson from chesstalk message board)
Roger Patterson: lost in space
According to this logic, it is ok if the OCA is used as a vehicle to defraud Trillium, providing the OCA membership is kept in the dark and made unaware.
When Trillium began to get worried that the money was being misused, they hastily held a meeting with the OCA President Mr. Thorvardsson and OCA Vice-President Mr. Bond. Trillium immediately cut all further cooperation with the OCA following the meeting.
Neither Mr. Bond nor Mr. Thorvardsson have ever reported back to the membership what transpired…inspite of repeated requests.
The most remarkable aspect of the unaccounted for 120,000 dollars (over a two year period) is that AGM minutes and OCA records indicate that not a single serious question was ever raised about the Trillium money and what it was spent on…was the OCA Executive sleeping? (and with whom?)
The first time that the OCA executive gave any indication of something being wrong or that some wrong doing had taken place is AFTER Trillium had already disassociated itself from the OCA (and cut off all further funding). Hal Bond introduced a motion of censureship of Mr. Thorvardsson , a mere slap on the wrist and purely theatrical in substance. It is true that Mr. Thorvardsson was in violation of numerous articles of the OCA constitution, but this is something that had been going on for two whole years! And everybody knew it, but kept quiet. Furthermore, Mr. Thorvardsson did not have total signing rights for cheques: atleast one other person must have known exactly what Barry was doing all the time.
Mr. Bond should have himself been forced to disclose his own role in the 2 previous years as VP of the OCA. In effect, Mr. Thorvardsson was made a scape goat. A well paid scape goat, it is true, but too convenient ! Could it be that he was not the only OCA executive who received Trillium money?
The minutes of the following agm of the OCA have never been published. And for as long as Mr. Thorvardsson is not forced to give a detailed account of what he did with the Trillium money, there is no way to accurately know the role of the other members of the OCA executive. The present CFC executive (comprised mostly of OCA politicos) seems bent, ironically, on making sure that Mr. Thorvardsson does not need to tell his side of the story.
This past week a perversely OCA-biased CFC Executive report into Mr. Thorvardsson’s actions was released to the public. This report all but awards Mr. Thorvardsson a medal. It almost completely exonerates Mr. Thorvardsson of any wrong doing and abuse, and instead suggests that some nominal changes in the wording of the OCA constitution would prevent a recurrance!(www.chesscanada.info/forum)
Inspite of their subsequent platitudes and rationalizations of the obvious inadequacy of the report , it is clear that both Mr. Van Dusen and Mr. Mallon have always stood in the way of getting to the bottom of the truth and that any future legal proceedings against Mr. Thorvardsson must also avail itself of the option of including Mr. Van Dusen and Mr. Mallon. Things can not be more clear: Mr. Thorvardsson did not act in a vacuum.