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Chaddock makes abrupt exit from AVMA post
Washington - Dr. Michael Chaddock, head of AVMA's Washington bureau, resigned following a dispute with Executive Vice President Dr. Bruce Little over what Chaddock claims were "irregular hiring practices" for an assistant director position. AVMA disputes Chaddock's account.
WASHINGTON — Dr. Michael Chaddock, head of AVMA's Washington bureau, resigned following a dispute with Executive Vice President Dr. Bruce Little over what Chaddock claims were "irregular hiring practices" for an assistant director position. AVMA disputes Chaddock's account.
The disagreement between the two association leaders arose as the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) searched for a new assistant director for its Governmental Relations Division (GRD), the public face of the AVMA in Washington. In a letter to AVMA, former GRD Director Chaddock contends that the executive vice president unfairly disciplined him after he voiced concern to AVMA board members about the hiring process. In January, AVMA put Chaddock on probation, alleging both procedural and performance issues. Although he has resigned in protest, Chaddock is fighting to have the probation expunged from his personnel records.
Chaddock's allegations and AVMA's concerns are detailed in his resignation letter and in other personnel documents provided to DVM Newsmagazine from an AVMA source who requested anonymity.
AVMA has refused to discuss Chaddock's allegations, citing its policy of not commenting on any personnel issues. AVMA's legal representatives have told DVM Newsmagazine that at least some of Chaddock's allegations made to the AVMA are false.
AVMA has launched a national search to replace Chaddock, who has served as AVMA's top lobbyist for the last three years. GRD Assistant Director Dr. Mark Lutschaunig serves in the interim seat. Chaddock has taken a new job as communications director of the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges, which represents all 28 veterinary colleges in the United States.
The assistant director job, vacated last August by Dr. Gerald Rushin, entails lobbying government agencies and Congress on matters related to homeland security, emergency response, food safety, pharmaceuticals and public health for veterinary medicine.
Chaddock declined to discuss the details leading to his resignation.
"My departure did have to do with a personnel issue in which I felt my ethics and standards were being compromised or asked to be compromised," he says. "It was not something I was able to do. I didn't see another avenue at this point considering the environment and constraints I was put under. My resignation letter stands."
When asked to address Chaddock's allegations, Dr. Bruce Little issued the following written statement to DVM Newsmagazine regarding Chaddock's exit: "We value all our employees. However, whenever an employee leaves an organization there often are questions, innuendoes, and rumors. For us to try to respond to such issues, let alone clarify or correct each and every misimpression, is inappropriate and fruitless. Moreover, we need to respect the privacy of our employees and the confidentiality of internal matters, and will not air personnel issues in public."