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A Defiant Mankamyer Decries 'Rush to Judgment'

January 23, 2003|Alan Abrahamson | Times Staff Writer

U.S. Olympic Committee President Marty Mankamyer, expanding on her vow not to resign, said Wednesday she is saddened by what she called a "rush to judgment" by "those who have abandoned the basic tenets of both American justice and the Olympic movement."

She also said, "Every person is entitled to a hearing. I had none."

On Tuesday, in a move unprecedented for the USOC, several USOC vice presidents and other officers demanded in a conference call with reporters that Mankamyer, elected in August, step down. They said she had made more of a recent ethics inquiry involving Chief Executive Lloyd Ward than it deserved.

The USOC finds itself engulfed in management turmoil so far-reaching it has drawn a summons for an emergency meeting next week on Capitol Hill, a call from a leading Olympic sponsor for a detailed audit and the proposal of a comprehensive, independent review of all the circumstances surrounding the ethics inquiry that sparked the tumult in the first place.

U.S. Justice Department officials met Wednesday in Santo Domingo with Lowell Fernandez, the Games' project manager, apparently investigating allegations a bribe was offered to win a deal for Energy Management Technologies, a company with ties to Ward's brother and a childhood friend. Fernandez declined comment afterward.

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