I’m appalled that George Yoshinaga (Tuesday, 3/10, “Vegas Weather and Luck Are Fickle”) reprints an email from a disgruntled Salt Lake City JACLer without so much as fact-checking the veracity of the accusations the writer makes against Floyd Mori and the JACL. The email is full of misinformation and lies, and anyone, except the most dense reader, would be suspicious of such outlandish accusations.
Contrary to the quoted email, the JACL National Board did not fire Mori, who announced his resignation in April 2011. The writer claims that the board fired Mori because he allegedly traveled first-class to Japan on tsunami relief money collected by the JACL. For the record, Mori did not fly on JACL or Japan relief funds, and I know for a fact that Mori never purchases first-class airline tickets, not even for his successful private business, which he has had for over 20 years.
The accusation is a patent lie, as is the writer’s claim that the JACL board approved a $100,000 travel budget for Mori as he continues to assist the JACL in an emeritus status. In fact, the JACL’s 2012 travel budget for the entire organization is $125,000, and as the former director, I know that the JACL never provides a travel budget for any individual: not the director, not the president of the board, not anyone.
As long as I had been associated with Floyd in an official JACL capacity, I know that his travel was always out of pocket. In fact, during the entire four years of his presidency, he did not once ask for reimbursement of travel expenses even though he traveled frequently around the country doing JACL work.
The entire email quoted by George is filled with obvious misinformation, and only a fool would fail to recognize that. It’s obvious to me that the writer has a personal grudge against Mori and emailed these ridiculous accusations to George knowing they would be made public. Conniving at best, cowardly at worst. We should at least be told who the emailer is since he/she is so willing to make this a personal and public vendetta.
What I find troubling is that George would run such scurrilous accusations without first fact-checking any of the information. One phone call would have revealed that none of the information contained in the email is true. Running such a letter without checking its veracity is the height of irresponsible reporting.
Yoshinaga’s disclaimer before quoting the email hardly mitigates his guilt in joining in the accusations. It’s a feeble attempt to disavow the effort to smear Mori and hardly makes him any less guilty in the attack.