Sasquan has decided that Lou Antonelli’s letter to the Spokane PD about David Gerrold violated its Code of Conduct, but at Gerrold’s request set aside a decision to ban him for the reasons discussed in the following public statement.
The Executive Committee of Sasquan, the 73rd World Science Fiction Convention, would like to address the matter of actions taken by Mr. Lou Antonelli with regards to one of our Guests of Honor, Mr. David Gerrold. On August 1st, Mr. Antonelli participated in a podcast in which he stated that he had written a letter to the Spokane Police Department, in which he stated to them that Mr. Gerrold was “insane and a public danger and needs to be watched when the convention is going on”.
Normally, online communications between members is not something in Sasquan’s purview to referee. However, Mr. Antonelli’s letter, which requested police action against Mr. Gerrold during the time of the convention, is within our purview. As such, we found that there was a strong possibility this act was a violation of our posted harassment policy, particularly if the letter had, in fact, been sent.
The Executive Committee then turned the matter over to our Operations Head, Ms. Robbie Bourget, who initiated formal proceedings in accordance with that policy. During these proceedings, it came to light that Mr. Antonelli had issued a formal apology to Mr. Gerrold and admitted culpability: he actually sent the letter, not merely claimed to have sent it.
We thoroughly reviewed all available data, including email from both involved parties, social media postings, discussions with key committee members, and so forth. The inescapable conclusion was that Mr. Antonelli had violated our Code of Conduct in this matter. The recommendation was to refund Mr. Antonelli’s membership and prohibit his entry to any convention location or function.
However, after the recommendation was made, Mr. Gerrold, as the aggrieved party, specifically requested that the Executive Committee set aside this recommendation on the grounds that Mr. Antonelli did apologize, is sending a retraction to the Spokane Police Department and because, as a Hugo Nominee, he deserves to attend the ceremony.
The Executive Committee has chosen to accept Mr. Gerrold’s request, and considers the matter closed as of this time. Ms. Bourget has spoken and corresponded with the Spokane Police Department, and they also consider the matter closed. We would like to thank Ms. Bourget for the calm professionalism she lent to the proceedings, and Mr. Antonelli and Mr. Gerrold for coming to a settlement that benefits not just them, but the Worldcon and its members.
While some wonder why the committee has not taken official notice of Antonelli’s interaction with Carrie Cuinn as well, perhaps that is explained by the statement “online communications between members is not something in Sasquan’s purview to referee.”