The executive director of the American Numismatic Association, Chris Cipoletti, was put on paid administrative leave by unanimous vote of the new board of governors in its first meeting Aug. 12.
The action was announced following an executive session to a packed public session of hobbyists including members and ANA employees.
Replacing Cipoletti on an interim basis is former ANA president Ken Hallenbeck, who will serve as acting executive director for an indefinite period. He will be assisted by Kim Kiick.
Also appointed was Ron Sirna, a Flint, Mich., attorney, as counselor to the president. Though the title doesn't say it, he is also counselor to the board.
A special audit committee, headed by Camden, S.C., CPA Austin Sheheen, was appointed to determine whether a full forensic audit of the ANA would be required. He has 60 days to make his determination and report back to the board.
The reason Cipoletti was asked to go on paid administrative leave was so that he could focus all of his attention on preparing his part of the case in a lawsuit against former employees in which he is a co-plaintiff with the ANA.
The trial date for the lawsuit is Sept. 25. He will be required to report to the board on Sept. 14 regarding these preparations.
All of the decisions were taken on 9-0 votes, except the vote to put Cipoletti on paid administrative leave, where former executive director Ed Rochette abstained because of potential personal involvement in issues relating to the lawsuit. Rochette was Cipoletti's immediate predecessor as ANA executive director.