The two questions posed to the Judicial Committee of the Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania by or on behalf of Dr. Tom Stevens, former LPPA State Chair, were whether his resignation as a member of the party was effective July 20, 2013 and whether he needed to be a State Party member in order to be hired by the Libertarian Party of Northampton Party as its Executive Director. On both issues, Dr. Stevens obtained a favorable ruling against the positions held by Steve Scheetz, the current LPPA State Chair.
Dr. Stevens sent an e-mail to Ivan Glinski, LPPA Secretary, which read as follows:
Effective July 20, 2013, I resign as a member of the Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania.
I worked very hard to get Gary Johnson and our statewide candidates on the ballot in 2012, to obtain Minor Party status for the LPPA, to build membership, to charter chapters and as State Chair, I spent countless hours advancing the cause of liberty in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
In light of the petty and destructive infighting that continues to take place and be fueled by the current leadership, my time would be better spent offering my services to other pro-liberty organizations. This saddens me as does the fact that by my resigning, I am giving up my Life Membership in the party, a status of which I am very proud.
I hope conditions in the Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania change over the coming years so it can, once again, be a positive force for liberty, and not a source of embarrassment to its members.
Steve Scheetz, current LPPA State Chair, posted references to this resignation saying it was not effective and that the membership of Dr. Tom Stevens was "suspended" (i.e. terminated) by action of the Board of Directors on August 17, 2013 as part of a motion "condemning" him and saying the LPPA will not work with any group or person who "affiliates" with him. Although that motion did not obtain the number of votes required to suspend a membership, Mr. Scheetz claimed the Board of Directors had successfully kicked Dr. Stevens out of the party and terminated his membership. Dr. Stevens appealed to the Judicial Committee asking whether his "resignation as a member of the LPPA was effective on July 20, 2013?" and wrote, "if my membership was effective, the Board motion was obviously moot".
The Judicial Committee Decision, issued on August 21, 2013, read as follows:
Tom Stevens resigned his LPPA membership on 20 July 2013. There is no mechanism in the Bylaws for accepting or rejecting resignations, but his resignation was received and acknowledged by the Chair and the Secretary of the LPPA. Accordingly, Dr. Stevens was not an LPPA member at the time of the LPPA Board meeting on 17 August 2013, nor at the time of his Petition to the Judicial Committee on 19-21 August 2013.
The Libertarian Party of Northampton County (LPNC) hired Dr. Tom Stevens to be its Executive Director effective August 1, 2013. On July 18, 2013, the LPNC Executive Committee voted to enter into a 3-year contract to hire Dr. Tom Stevens, former LPPA State Chair and former Northampton LP County Chair, to the salaried position of Executive Director of the Libertarian Party of Northampton County with the following duties and responsibilities, which are set forth in the contract:
...to recruit candidates to run for local office, to coordinate membership recruitment drives, to schedule and co-sponsor local events and meetings, to represent and speak on behalf of the Libertarian Party of Northampton County when dealing with outside organizations and the press, to propose motions to the Executive Committee, to run its Yahoo Groups, Meetup Groups, Facebook Groups and other social media outlets, to propose meeting times and locations to the County Chair, and to handle such additional responsibilities as he may deem appropriate or that are assigned to him by the County Chair and/or the Executive Committee.
Steve Scheetz, current LPPA State Chair, wrote to the Board of Directors on July 21, 2013 stating that Dr. Tom Stevens "appointed himself Executive Director of an affiliate" and that "an Executive Director must meet the same qualifications as a board member." As a result, Mr. Scheetz claimed Dr. Stevens could not serve as Executive Director of the Libertarian Party of Northampton County. He and others publicly stated they would not recognize the appointment of Dr. Stevens as LPNC Executive Director and would not work with him.
Aaron Rosengarten, County Chair of the Libertarian Party of Northampton County, appealed to the LPPA Judicial Committee and asked, "Does a hired employee of a local LPPA chartered County Organization need to be an LPPA member and meet the same qualifications as a state board member?"
The Judicial Committee Decision, issued on September 15, 2013, read as follows:
We hold unanimously that a "hired employee of a local LPPA chartered County Organization need" not "be an LPPA member and meet the same qualifications as a state board member.
Thomas Robert Stevens served as State Chair of the Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania from April 22, 2012 to April 5, 2013.