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Jan 31, 2001

AMA Releases Official Statement On Thornton Resignation

The AMA has just released an official statement concerning former President J. Scott Thornton. The release is reproduced here:

"In recent days, questions have been raised in various forums about the circumstances leading to the departure of Scott Thornton as AMA President last fall. As previously stated by the Association, Mr. Thornton chose to retire during a meeting of the AMA Board of Trustees on October 27.

"As is the case with most employers, the AMA has long had an official position of not commenting publicly on personnel matters, most of which are discussed in executive sessions of the AMA Board. However, because this issue has been raised in a public forum, the AMA is releasing the following:

"Mr. Thornton had been hired as AMA President under a one-year contract that began November 1, 1999. That contract called for an evaluation and a decision on contract renewal at the end of the contract period. During this evaluation, questions arose concerning the accuracy of various facts, including those contained in Mr. Thornton's column published in the September, 2000 issue of American Motorcyclist that purported to discuss his experiences during the Vietnam War.

"It was of great concern to the AMA Board of Trustees that statements made in the Association's publication be factually correct. The Board's investigation revealed that there were valid questions about the facts in this column. Before the conclusion of the evaluation, Mr. Thornton announced his retirement to the Board.

"The AMA is not in a position to confirm or refute any of the statements made in Mr. Thornton's column. The Association does not speak for Mr. Thornton in this or any other matter, and he does not speak for the AMA."