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Censorship – NAPPS Style

2012-03-24

Last week, we published a piece about a ‘private’  admonishment letter the NAPPS board sent to Jeff Karotkin.  Imagine, the National Association of Professional Process Servers telling a dues paying member they can’t utter any derogatory remarks about any member of the board or matter affecting the process service profession with regard to NAPPS activities.  Didn’t you know NAPPS is infallible?  Thin skinned we say – very thinned skin.

That’s the ironic part though because we’ve always envisioned process servers as a rough and tumble set who bootstrap themselves in the pursuit of a sometimes dangerous mission.  Lot’s of American flags, eagles,trucks, pride…  All good stuff so what’s up with this sensitivity.  And that is the core question readers should keep asking themselves.  The more you ask why, the more you begin to recognize that something is not right in NAPPS land.

Jeff K. claims that NAPPS’s attempt to silence him was because he asked questions about pending federal legislation that would have benefited most NAPPS members but at the expense of a few.  Like one of Mr. Admin’s companies.  Someone in NAPPS wasn’t interested in publicizing the potential impact this bill could have had on NAPPS members so discussion never happened.

NAPPS has a history of this practice.  In 2009, New York state member Bruce Lazarus received this cease and desist letter from then board member Fred Blum.  Now anyone who has been around NAPPS for anytime knows that Bruce does tend to speak his mind and even did a stint or two in a leadership position trying to do good.  He has been known to piss people off.

So what nerve did Bruce hit to warrant a smack down?  Perhaps it was a matter in the public domain that Fred B. wanted to keep quiet because of an embarrassment factor. Probably.  But again, this is what makes the whole NAPPS angle interesting.  If it was a personal matter that didn’t relate directly to NAPPS, why did Fred B. involve the board?  Not only did he involve the board, he took the unusual step of thanking the board for their support.

I appreciate the support I have received from the Board.  Fred Blum 2009

There is a pattern and a culture of censorship in the leadership ranks of NAPPS.  Speak out and you will be punished.  Step out of line and we will remind you of your place.

It’s these types of issues we keep coming back to.  All by itself, NAPPS continues to provide content to the NAPPS Watcher over and over again.  It’s why we are forcing the transparency issue – it’s why we keep asking questions.  And when we do, there really is never a good answer – never.  And it troubles us.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. 1995-2012 permalink
    2012-03-25 04:16

    Privatizing the Duties of the Central Authority: Should International Service of Process Be Up for Bid?

    http://international.vlex.com/vid/privatizing-duties-authority-service-bid-62485696
    Who is performing this work

    “The UIHJ delegation expressed their thanks to NAPPS for the work done over past 8 years that made this contract possible, and are very pleased that the process is finally complete, and in the hands of such a capable company. The delegation was also very pleased to learn that PFI will be using NAPPS (BOARD) members (Companies) whenever possible to serve the process received under this contract.”

    For 8 years this was worked on. In 2003 here are the board members

    Joseph P. Butler President
    MaryLee Rustand — First Vice President
    Lawrence G. Roth – Second Vice President
    Lee H. Russell — Secretary
    Ronald R. Ezell — Treasurer
    Thomas J.C. MacDonald—Director
    John Perez—Director
    Peter G. Lazetich—Director
    Frederic A. Blum — Director

    For 2500 NAPPS members is international service of process relevant

  2. 1995-2012 permalink
    2012-03-25 16:21

    You forgot to post the issue Mr Bruce Lazarus was told to stop talking about

    “1. At all times relevant to this information:
    a. Vincent J. Furno (charged separately) was a member of the Senate of
    the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (“the Senate”). As a public official and member of the Senate, Furno was obligated to avoid the use of Senate funds and resources for the personal or political benefit of himself or others. Beginning in 2003, federal authorities, under the auspices of a federal grand jury, in Grand Jury Matter No. 03-123, conducted an investigation (the “Furno Investigation”) to determine, among other matters, whether Fumo abused his authority regarding the use of Senate funds.

    b. At all times material to the Fumo Investigation, defendant MITCHELL
    RUBIN was a fifty percent (50%) shareholder of a firm, B&R Professional Services, Inc. (“B&R”), which provided court reporting, process serving, and document retrieval services to attorneys.

    http://www.justice.gov/usao/pae/News/2010/mar/mrubin_information.pdf

    • NAPPS Watcher permalink*
      2012-03-25 18:21

      Two reasons:
      1. Our post is intended to call out what happens to members when they speak about ‘taboo’ issues.

      2. Our research doesn’t reflect how this criminal matter involved NAPPS directly.

      However, it did involve a board member’s company (and the board at some level) which goes back to the disclosure issue we keep harping on. Stuff happens, no one is perfect, bla bla bla. No big deal really until attempts are made to suppress and censor the subject matter and that is where the problem for NAPPS comes in. The situation you reference was probably nothing more than an embarrassment for the association and for the board member. We say disclose the issue, let the chips fall where they may and move on.

      Unfortunately, NAPPS has shown itself incapable of crafting a framework of policies and procedures that spell out how disclosure and conflict matters are handled. Instead, they are dealt with privately and in secret. Or, publicly when it’s decided to throw someone under the bus because of a perceived threat or payback. It’s crash and burn at NAPPS and it’s been this way for some time.

      We’d like to see that changed so we can get back to whatever it is we’re supposed to be doing.

  3. Sengbe Pieh permalink
    2012-03-25 16:53

    The same names. The Star Team. The Unholy Vanguard.I reproach them to retire from NAPPS leadership. Please go back to being members and let younger members (without skeletons) (with energy and ideas aplenty) take the wheel. Nothing personal. No malice. Don’t want your jobs. Don’t want your names dragged through mud.

    Thanks for your time. We appreciate it, but please just go.
    You’re embarrassing yourselves from the NAPPS birthright you deserve.

    And when you do, which eventually you surely will, please take your Yenta-Golem, mischief maker, LR, with you too.

    Peace.

    Or Pieces.

  4. 1995-2012 permalink
    2012-03-25 19:54

    Case 2:10-cr-00141-RB Document 11 Filed 08/23/11 Page 12 of 43
    Sentencing testimony:

    THE DEFENDANT: …All over the country. We belong to different organizations that do process serving all over the country and everything else kind of revolved around that.

    (“We… belong to … everything else kind of revolved around that…” .)

    Case 2:10-cr-00141-RB Document 11 Filed 08/23/11 Page 9 of 43

    THE DEFENDANT: …..we do process serving all over the world.

    Plea document is secured from public access (8 Plea Document as to MITCHELL RUBIN (ap, ) (Entered: 04/09/2010) You do not have permission to view this document.))

    The sentencing was 4/2010 and silence on the docket for 16 months until 8/2011 when transcripts were posted. The plea document is still sealed pending some unknown conclusion or activity.

  5. 1995-2012 permalink
    2012-03-25 20:44

    Potential for 10 years in prison. Received 6 months home confinement 5 years probation, no prison. The plea agreement will be interesting when it is revealed as to what was brought to the table and why there was such a deviation from sentencing guidelines.

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