by Irvin Muchnick
USA Swimming’s disgraced founding director of Safe Sport, Susan Woessner, resigned on February 22. Woessner left after acknowledging having “engaged in kissing on a single occasion” (others have alleged it was a sexual relationship) with coach Sean Hutchison. In one of her first acts on the job, in 2010, Woessner had participated in an investigation that exonerated Hutchison of the allegation of an inappropriate relationship with his swimmer Ariana Kukors. The grounds for this inaction, apparently, were simply that Kukors was of consenting age at the time of the investigation — but Hutchison today is under criminal investigation on charges of abusing Kukors all the way back to when she was 13.
So, the director is dead; long live the director. Two months later, however, Concussion Inc. decided to raise the question of whether a successor to Woessner had been named. Or has USA Swimming dismantled its Safe Sport department, which we’ve documented as fraudulent from the very start, and perhaps will prospectively defer on all complaints to the U.S. Olympic Committee’s new U.S. Center for SafeSport?
On USA Swimming’s Safe Sport page, Liz Hahn, who had been Woessner’s assistant (and before her marriage went by the name Liz Hoendervoogt), has been referred to as “Safe Sport coordinator.” I asked the group’s PR person, Belle McLemore, whether Hahn had been promoted to Safe Sport director or interim director, and whether a search was under way for Woessner’s successor.
McLemore’s response: “Liz Hahn was recently promoted to Safe Sport Program Senior Manager (from Manager). We are in the process of reviewing and assessing the role of the Safe Sport Director within our organization.”