Gem-A board says upcoming election is referendum on its treatment of former CEO

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Gem-A’s board of trustees has defined next week’s council election as a referendum on whether they acted correctly in the treatment of former CEO James Riley and his subsequent dismissal for gross misconduct.

A letter to members dated August 17, and signed by all remaining trustees, says: “We consider this election to be a referendum on whether we have acted properly in the interests of Gem-A in dismissing James Riley. Those members who think his conduct was acceptable and that the council should not have dismissed him for his gross misconduct will surely vote against us.”

Mr Riley was dismissed last month following an investigation by the charity that found that he had used a company credit card to pay for sexual services from two licensed sex establishments whilst on a business trip to Melbourne in July 2014.

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Mr Riley claims he visited the establishments for massages to treat a long term problem with his back and is appealing against his dismissal.

Voting in Gem-A’s council elections concludes on August 24, with the result announced on August 26.

Two camps are vying for control of the educational institution.

Current chair Nigel Israel, vice-chair Miranda Wells and trustee Jessica Cadzow-Collins head a continuity ticket that wants the current board and a list of recommended candidates to be elected.

Mr Israel, Ms Wells and Mary Burland do not have to contest their positions on the board.

Cred Jewellery’s Greg Valerio and Michael Hoare, former chief executive of the NAG, formed a team of international gemmological experts to stand as a group, although they have since made the decision to run independently of each other.

Click here to download the list of candidates: Gem-A council election nomination table.

Mr Israel has not replied to requests from Professional Jeweller for an interview ahead of the Gem-A council elections, but the board has given a detailed rebuttal to allegations being made on social media and online forums in the August 17 letter to members.

“It is possible that those supporting James Riley genuinely believe he did not use his Gem-A credit card for the purposes for which the council has found he used it. They may even believe that he did use if for those purposes but consider that this was a minor misdemeanour that did not warrant disciplinary action. We could not disagree more,” the letter states.

Click here to download the August  17 letter from Gem-A’s board to its members: Gem-A Trustee’s letter to members.


Tags : Council Electiongem-agemmological association of great britainGreg Valeriojames rileyNigel Israel
Rob Corder

The author Rob Corder


  1. Mr Valerio has been a Gem-A member for… TWO MONTHS (OK, maybe three now) and is not a FGA but yet he pretends to “seize control”? And his team is supported by people like Mr Dominy who completely illegally leaked private correspondence between third parties to you, to other media and to private people like me. This is very weird…

  2. Mr Valerio is only one of several candidates. It is completely possible for anyone who has doubts to not put a cross for him at the ballot. Regarding mr Dominy’s “illegal leaking” it needs a bit of correction. Mr Dominy was not the person that leaked the information. It was leaked by concerned members with access to the information, to him. Mr Dominy made the information known to the membership by putting them out in public. Most of the discussions and hard evidence information was actually kept “indoors” until mr Dominy was suspended from the forum by decision from the present board.

    1. It is also possible, as you well know, to vote *against* Valerio G. being admitted to the Council. For those Gem-A members disapproving of his candidature, that would be the appropriate course of action.

      As for Mr Dominy, it will be for others to determine in due course whether or not his publication of material unlawfully passed to him hase made him an accessory to a crime. There is also the civil wrong of libel that Mr Dominy may have repeatedly committed. We are all responsible for damage caused to another by what we say and that is untrue. It is no defence to claim that one believed that it was true.

  3. Thanks Conny. Yes Caroline, my preference was to only release enough information so that the Board knew I had the documents in the hope that they would be honest and transparent to the membership. Instead, they chose to distort the truth by using the services of high-priced legal firms to ‘craft’ news releases so as to limit the damage. When the Board chose to ban me from Gem Talk, others who also had access to these documents felt it was better to release them into the public domain so that it would be impossible for the Board to claim ‘hearsay’ or ‘gossip’. I did not steal the documents, they were willingly given by six concerned Gem-A staff and trustees. I also did not hack into the system to retrieve e-mails. The people responsible for leaking the information simply pressed ‘forward’ and sent the e-mails to me. Sorry, I know the pro-Boarders would love to spin another tale (as they have with the CIBJO and AGA takeover comments) but that is how they came into my possession. If others use the law to hide and conceal the truth, then I do not feel the law can be respected. What is good for the goose is good for the gander.

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