|Monday, December 30
Ward allegedly pushed staff to help brother's firm
DENVER -- The U.S. Olympic Committee's ethics panel is reviewing allegations that chief executive Lloyd Ward helped his brother's company land a deal with the 2003 Pan American Games.
The allegations were reported in Monday's editions of the Los Angeles Times, which said Ward directed his staff to help Energy Management Technologies garner a deal to supply power generators for the Pan Am Games in the Dominican Republic.
USOC president Marty Mankamyer said the USOC's ethics committee has yet to issue a report, and that the executive committee will meet Jan. 13 to decide what action to take. She said the meeting probably will take place in Denver.
"Certainly, I was dismayed when I found out,'' Mankamyer said Monday from Colorado Springs, Colo.
She declined to say more.
According to the allegations, Ward directed the USOC's director of international relations in April to see him about a proposal involving EMT.
The USOC then introduced officials in the Dominican Republic to the company, which made a proposal to supply the games' organizing committee with microturbines, which provide standby power. One proposal called for 53 machines at $4.6 million, but no deal went through.
Ward signed a conflict-of-interest statement in July, in which he did not disclose any affiliation with EMT. Ward has no financial interest in the company.
A letter dated Feb. 19 and signed by Rubert Ward showed that EMT solicited an investment of $150,000 from Lloyd Ward. The letter said the company saw a market for microturbines in the Caribbean, particularly the Dominican Republic.
EMT documents list Rubert Ward as president of the Detroit-based company, but CEO Lorenzo Williams said Rubert Ward no longer holds that title, the Times reported.
"I wasn't a part of any of the conversations, but the documents seem to basically match what was said,'' Mankamyer said.
USOC spokesman Mike Moran said Lloyd Ward was traveling Monday and could not immediately be reached for comment.
In a written statement, Mankamyer said: "In the aftermath of the bid city controversies, and in a current climate in our nation in which business executives are subjected to intense scrutiny, the USOC is sensitive to these issues and the serious allegations.''
She was referring to allegations that organizers of the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City used $1 million to sway International Olympic Committee voters to choose the city.
The Pan Am Games are Aug. 1-17 in Santo Domingo.
Ward, a former Maytag CEO who was considered a marketing expert, was hired by the USOC 14 months ago. He gained national attention earlier this year when he became the first member of Augusta National Golf Club to say he would push for the admission of women.
The allegations are the latest scandal to hit the world's most powerful Olympic committee. In May, USOC president Sandy Baldwin resigned after she admitted lying about her academic credentials. She was replaced by Mankamyer.
Last year, the USOC went through a lengthy search to replace CEO Norm Blake, who resigned under pressure in October 2000. Ward was named his successor in October 2001.