A motion put forward by past president Rod Hackney to 'deplore the negative publicity the Dennis Rodwell case is giving the profession' and 'call on the RIAS to resolve the situation promptly' was carried last week by 15 votes to two. There were 22 abstentions.
Hackney showed a long affidavit from former Edinburgh Housing Committee member Garry Coutts to back up his views on Rodwell, who was 'blacklisted' by Edinburgh District Council, subsequently found guilty and suspended by the RIAS for 'gross professional misconduct', then reinstated under a court ruling. The RIAS is appealing against this ruling, which said the RIAS hearing was imperfectly balanced - even though both the RIBA and ARB have cleared him of Rodwell serious wrongdoing.
' . . . The RIAS has, in my opinion, acted to obstruct resolutions, ' wrote Coutts. 'Their actions can at best be described as being the product of compounding earlier errors or at worst a deliberate and malicious attempt to destroy one of their members' reputations.
Hackney said: 'Rodwell is an honest, honourable man who when something is done to him won't lie down and die', adding that on that same 'blacklist' were 'famous names' including past presidents of the RIBA and RIAS. Rodwell, who is in ongoing court session, has had his reputation 'destroyed' and is 'near bankruptcy', said Hackney, because of the actions of the RIAS: 'The RIAS can't get out of the hole it's in and it's still digging.'
RIAS president George Wren said that because the matter was still in court he had been advised not to discuss the case in open forum.