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Candidate for ASTA National Office Disqualified

July 22, 2009 By: George Dooley

In an unusual move, ASTA issued a statement disqualifying Alan Fiermonte, Down2earth Adventures, LLC, Conshohocken, PA, as a candidate for the 2009 national director election on the basis that he violated ASTA’s election rules pertaining to the use of ASTA resources. ASTA is now holding elections for  agent directors to serve on ASTA’s board and lead the association. ASTA elections are governed by strict rules of conduct.

“Yesterday, after a thorough deliberation, a review panel established by ASTA’s Election Committee disqualified Alan Fiermonte (Down2earth Adventures, LLC, Conshohocken, PA) as a candidate for the 2009 national director election on the basis that he violated ASTA’s election rules pertaining to the use of ASTA resources,” ASTA said.

The election rule in question states that: "Candidates shall not use any ASTA resource in support of their campaign. The only ASTA resource which will be provided to the candidates will be a complete mailing list of its voting members, to be provided once to each candidate upon the candidate’s request.”

To that end, ASTA is issuing the following statement:

“ASTA has election rules to which all candidates must adhere. Mr. Fiermonte was asked on several occasions to return confidential data that was inadvertently provided in the mailing list for 2009 director-at-large candidates. He was the only candidate who failed to certify that he had destroyed the list, or returned it, with certification that no other copies remained in their possession. He was repeatedly warned of the consequences of such actions and despite this, Mr. Fiermonte used information from the list, other than the mailing data, as part of his campaign platform and in messaging to ASTA’s voting members.”

A hearing was conducted by Mr. Fiermonte’s peers—ASTA voting members—during which time he was given the opportunity to present both oral and written responses and answer any questions the panel had, ASTA said.

Following extensive discussion, the panel found that he had violated the rules on using ASTA resources for campaign purposes and disqualified him as a candidate for national director-at-large.

Fiermonte responded to the ASTA Election Committee Complaint Review Panel decision to disqualify him from this year’s National Director election, by saying:   “I wish the other candidates well in solving ASTA’s considerable financial challenges and dealing with the unrelenting threats of agency unprofitability, disintermediation and irrelevancy.  I have one descriptor phrase for ASTA’s election process --- garbage designed by nitwits.  I am sorry the members who voted for me will not get their wish to have my no-nonsense, maverick brand of leadership on this Board.”

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