By AuxBeacon News Contributor
The Board of Governors recently convened a special meeting to receive the report of investigation concerning allegations against the National Commander. Until the Board of Governors has completed it’s final action, the membership of Major General Antonio J. Pineda has been suspended for a period of up to 180 days.
During this period, Major General Pineda is prohibited from having contact with any member of Civil Air Patrol. As prescribed in Section 10 of the CAP Constitution and Bylaws, Brigadier General Amy S. Courter, as National Vice Commander, will assume the duties of the National Commander during this period.
Please ensure the members in the field know that the Board of Governors is doing everything within their power to ensure the continued success of the organization and asks that they continue to support their local communities as well as the goals and objectives of this great organization.
Major General Richard L. Bowling
Chairman of the CAP Board of Governors
In an email today to members of the CAP National Board:
Yesterday you received an email from Susie Parker that was sent on behalf of Maj Gen Richard Bowling, stating that the BOG suspended me as your National Commander.
Civil Air Patrol has rules and regulations that we, as members, must abide by. Those rules are known as the Civil Air Patrol Constitution, By Laws and Regulations. The BOG also has to abide by these same documents, and in this case, they clearly did not, as they don’t have the authority to suspend or remove the National Commander.
The National Board, as stated in article 15 page 8, is the only entity that has that authority after following the procedures required by our National Legal Officer. None of those steps were followed in this case.
I have included in this letter a copy of article 15 for you to read. I am currently enroute to the Summer National Board Meeting to assume my duties as National Commander.
Corporations and citizens of this country are all governed by laws and regulations. We in the Civil Air Patrol are no different, especially when we are supposed to guide our cadets and members to be model citizens.
The constitution of our great country gives us the right to free speech and no one can take that away from us.
I will see you at the National Board and we will resolve this misunderstanding with our BOG. Thank you for your support and LET’S ROLL.
Florida wing is a very complex problem of long standing. It would take a full IG team or FBI to investigate the politics and back room politics. So, much is rumor, that it is hard to determine facts. The problems appear to have started in the early 1990’s. Florida had several weak Wing Commanders (compared to previous commanders). and the loss of the Wing Air Force Liaison Officers as a moderating influence may be the root cause.
Without the USAF oversight and support, power blocks began in the Wing. Members came out with all kinds of ideas, often sparked by egos and the thought of gaining power/authority. Pineda is the perfect example of this. He built a power structure in the Wing that still exists. Matt Sharkey as Wing Commander reduced much of the power structure, but was removed as Wing CC and made Region Commander to allow the Pineda influence to re-grow. Joe Martin Senior and Junior were very weak and corrupt at Wing CC.
Joe Martin Junior was under the thumb of the Pineda influence and said he was only staying to get the eagles on a permanent basis. (Joe Martin Sr reverted back to Lt Col after his term). Levitch was a fairly decent Wing CC and at the end of his tenure as Wing CC and SER CC often took actions opposed to Pineda. Levitch actually distanced himself from Pineda. Pat O’Key as Wing CC had no clue what was going on in the Wing.
During this entire period, the power factors grew, with it looks like, three separate groups in power struggles. Many of the Pineda/Levitch/Martin appointments to Wing Staff still are on staff thus allowing the power base to run the Wing behind the Wing CC back.
I was told that General Smith was aware of the problems in the Wing. But his idea was to let the Wing fix itself. Obviously that hasn’t happened. It is true the power structure has lessened in the past year or two, but it is still strong. An example is the poor selection of the new Wing CC. The current Wing Director of Cadet Programs is a Pineda/Levitch appointee. Based on my years as Wing DCP or Region DCS CP, she does a poor job. She runs cadet activities as a fund raiser. About $40 above the actual costs of an encampment is a profit for Wing CP.
Only about six people in Florida Wing know anything about the financial status of the Wing. Finances are completely hidden from the membership and the air force. One of the questions that candidates for Wing CC had to answer prior to the selection committee was on finances. But Wing told candidates that they would not get any information on finances to be able to answer the question. That is an example of what’s wrong in the Wing. To much is hidden by the power structure from the membership.