27/01/2004 - 21:00

REIWA under fire for Griffiths’ departure

27/01/2004 - 21:00

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REIWA under fire for Griffiths’ departure

THE sudden departure of long-serving Real Estate Institute of WA chief executive Michael Griffiths has sparked a call for a special general meeting of the institute and an explanation of the REIWA council’s actions.

After 19 years as CEO of the institute, Mr Griffiths was given notice on December 8, after a vote of the institute’s 14-member council. The move upset some REIWA members, who believe the termination was unwarranted.

A contingent of disgruntled members calling itself the REIWA First Supporters Group delivered a notice calling for a special general meeting to the institute last Wednesday.

According to an email circulated to REIWA members by real estate agent John Franklyn, the purpose of the meeting will be to “ask the council to explain to members the reason for the sacking of the CEO and the reason for the process that was followed”.

It is understood that both parties have signed a confidentiality agreement over the termination and conditions of Mr Griffiths’ employment.

According to one industry source, Mr Griffiths’ payout was worth between $200,000 and $300,000.

The following is an excerpt from Mr Franklyn’s letter, which was distributed to REIWA members via email last week.

“There have been no answers to many requests. The standard response has always been that the council members cannot discuss the matter for legal reasons. We do not believe this is a satisfactory answer, particularly when we believe there really is no adequate reason, and that the actions were more motivated by personal differences and agendas.

“Both Neville Fox and I were on the REIWA Council until September 2003 and know of no reason why this action should have been taken, yet in several communications, by the president [Jim Henneberry], there have been references to this ‘problem’ being around for 12 to 18 months.”

REIWA president Jim Henneberry declined to comment on the affair.

According to the letter, the institute now has between seven and 21 days to hold a special general meeting.

Mr Franklyn told WA Business News a core group of members with a long-standing relationship with the institute were trying to sort out the reasons behind Mr Griffiths’ sudden departure.

Mr Franklyn said he had received “hundreds of emails and hundreds of phone calls” from concerned members.

“The majority of the membership holds Michael Griffiths in the highest regard,” he said.

It was in the institute’s long-term interests that decisions such as that concerning Mr Griffiths were not made for personal reasons, Mr Franklyn said.

 

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