Appeals & Grievances

Report of the Appeals and Grievances Committee

The Appeals and Grievances Committee was presented with one appeal of a Trial Commission finding this year.

The committee reviewed the records from the trial of Brother David Hartman, a member of Minnehaha Lodge No. 165. Bro. Hartman had been found guilty of unMasonic conduct by a duly constituted Trial Commission and was sentenced to a 5-year suspension for his unMasonic conduct. Bro. Hartman appealed that finding and sentence.

The Appeals and Grievances Committee then met via Zoom on March 25, 2024. The committee heard testimony from Bro. Hartman and RW Bro. Doug Campbell, Chief Trial Commissioner. Following the testimony, the committee met in Executive Session and deeply delved into the questions raised.

The Standard of Review for the Committee is plainly outlined in the Masonic Code (sec. G9.04).  All these elements were reviewed by the Committee.  The Grand Lodge has jurisdiction in this matter, Mr. Hartman plead guilty, and was given the opportunity to give an explanation according to code, and the facts were not in dispute.  The punishment, while severe, was not arbitrary and was consistent with the code. The decision of the Chief Trial Commissioner was not capricious or whimsical.  Therefore, the decision must be upheld.

Upon review, the committee has denied the appeal of Mr. Hartman. While sympathetic to his desire to return to the craft, the Grand Master alone may mitigate a sentence in accordance with the code.

Fraternally submitted,
Raymond G. Christensen, PGM, Chair
Brian E. Beermann, PGM
John B. Studell, PGM
Steven R. Johnson, PGM
Garrett Aalfs, Grand Pursuivant

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