Reviewing the Reasons USA Swimming Chief Chuck Wielgus Should Be Fired During Senator Dianne Feinstein’s Probe of Amateur Sports Sex Abuse (Part 1, the Will Colebank Cover-Up)

Published April 4th, 2017, Uncategorized

by Irvin Muchnick

 

We’ve told you about the open letter — first reported by USA Today — in which women’s sports advocate Nancy Hogshead-Makar, along with fellow anti-abuse lawyer activists B. Robert Allard and Jonathan Little, call for Chuck Wielgus of USA Swimming to be fired.

Here we begin a rundown of some of the specifics of the brief against Wielgus, and accompany it with links to historical coverage by Concussion Inc.

Hogshead-Makar, Allard, and Little note, “Chuck Wielgus secretly fired his employee Will Colebank for child sexual abuse,” and then “withheld reporting Colebank to law enforcement for sexual misconduct with minors. Because Chuck Wielgus concealed the reasons for being fired, Colebank was again able to gain access to children through a new career as a teacher. Colebank was later arrested on child pornography charges.”

On September 28, 2012, at http://concussioninc.net/?p=6109 and http://concussioninc.net/?p=6122, we opened our investigative series on Will Colebank. This article showed Colebank’s listing at the state of Colorado’s registry of sex offenders. Colebank was convicted in 2008 of “promotion of obscenity to a minor” and in 2009 of “sexual exploitation of a child.”

Also reported is Colebank earlier dismissal by USA Swimming following an incident in which Colebank  emailed a 12-year-old swimmer he had met in Florida at one of the organization’s swimming camps. Colebank’s computer at USA Swimming headquarters in Colorado Springs was confiscated and he was dismissed — but without an announcement or publicity of any kind. He became a technology teacher at Carmel Middle School in Colorado Springs.

Even after Colebank’s 2007 arrest and resignation from the school, the Denver Post did not report his earlier employment as a top executive at USA Swimming.

In 2014, during the controversy over the imminent induction of Chuck Wielgus to the International Swimming Hall of Fame, former board presidents issued a paper in defense of the long-time chief executive. (This gambit failed and Wielgus was forced to withdraw from the Hall of Fame honor.) Here’s what the apologists wrote:

 
“In 1998, USA Swimming terminated its club development director, Will Colebank, for improper communications with a male athlete and having pornographic images on his USA Swimming computer. USA Swimming followed the law and was not a mandatory reporter under Colorado law. However if faced with similar circumstances today, USA Swimming would handle this differently and report the conduct to law enforcement.”