What went on at BASC last year?

2016 was an annus horribilis for BASC’s headquarters operation at Marford Mill in Wrexham – but there has been no satisfactory explanation of what went on. Now a picture is emerging thanks to an employment tribunal and a formal report, which reads like the treatment for a BBC drama.

In a single day in May 2016, chief executive Richard Ali was replaced by Christopher Graffius and chairman Alan Jarrett was replaced by Peter Glenser. There were rumours, denied by BASC but now confirmed as true, that the police were called to help remove staff members who ‘refused or failed’ to go home after they were suspended. These include Ali.

Dismissed: Richard Ali

There is another police angle to the story, too. A former high-ranking police officer is at the heart of it. He claimed there was a conspiracy to oust him from his job at BASC. Meanwhile, a BASC regional director, who resigned from his job with the charity, claims he was driven out by the former police officer.

An employment tribunal heard details of the infighting. Former acting assistant chief constable of North Wales, Steve Curtis, allegedly swore at and threatened to kill a colleague, then BASC Northern regional director Alasdair Mitchell, who resigned over the matter in December 2015. The allegations and counter-allegations led to Curtis resigning from his job as human resources director at BASC just as he was about to be dismissed in May 2016. The tribunal heard claims he clashed with Mitchell at a meeting in October 2014 and said: “I swear I will kill you.”

Steve Curtis arriving at the tribunal

Richard Ali, who was chief executive, and Gary Ashton, another former senior police officer and director
for Wales and Sporting Services at BASC, were both subsequently suspended. In December 2016, Ali was dismissed for gross misconduct.

To download the report (PDF), click here.

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