Good O' Boy Roundup Report - March, 1996

g) Hayward's credibility

As no interviewee, including a number of particularly credible witnesses, supported Hayward's claims regarding racist misconduct at the 1989 Roundup, it was clear that Hayward either mistakenly or intentionally made some false claims. Furthermore, although Hayward made several allegations in his affidavit that were substantiated -- the existence of the 1990 checkpoint sign, the performance of the KKK skit, the presence of the Boyz in the Hood and "Buckwheat" T-shirts, and the watermelon skit -- even as to these matters he made claims that were not substantiated. Because Hayward had made numerous allegations of racism about the 1989 and other Roundups, it was important to determine whether Hayward had intentionally made false claims. We sought to assess his credibility by interviewing him, by talking to people with whom he associated at the Roundup, by interviewing persons he contacted regarding his claims of racism at the Roundup, and by looking at any possible motives he had for falsifying or exaggerating his claims.

(i) Claims inconsistent with other

Most of Hayward's allegations about the 1989 Roundup are contrary to the accounts of every other witness. [/ This fact made us question whether Hayward actually attended the 1989 Roundup. A record of his payment exists for 1990, but not for 1989. Rightmyer contended that Hayward did not attend until 1990. He recalled receiving a telephone call in 1990 from a friend of Hayward's in the Fort Lauderdale police department asking whether he could bring Hayward to the Roundup. This person refused our request for an interview so we were unable to determine whether Rightmyer's recollection was corroborated. However, given the way the invitation fliers were automatically distributed by mail to previous participants, if Hayward had attended in 1989, he would not have needed a sponsor for the 1990 Roundup. Furthermore, as Hayward repeatedly confused facts from later Roundups in his purported 1989 account, his claim of attending in 1989 may also be the product of such confusion. ] This fact is particularly significant. Many of these same individuals -- who said they did not see any racist signs, effigies, or other racist conduct at the 1989 Roundup -- reported racist conduct at subsequent Roundups. We found no reason to believe that they would seek to suppress information regarding 1989 but not about the other years.

Second, every witness except Hayward -- including persons who were not attendees of the Roundups but merely stopped by the campground on other business and thus had no motive to shade their accounts -- stated that racist signs were removed as soon as Roundup organizers discovered them.

Third, the registration table was positioned outside the grove of trees, a mere 250 feet from a major road. An effigy and/or a sign posted at the registration table would have been visible to attendees and passersby, particularly if posted for several days as Hayward alleges. In addition to more than one hundred fifty participants in the 1989 Roundup, we also interviewed numerous persons who live and work in the area. No one corroborated Hayward's story in this regard.

Finally, to accept Hayward's claims would specifically require us to infer that the person in charge of the registration desk would have tolerated the presence of blatantly racist materials for one entire Roundup but complain to Rightmyer the very next year that such behavior would not be tolerated. See supra p. 55. We found no basis for drawing that inference.

(ii) Factual errors by Hayward

Hayward's account is also replete with factual errors. He alleged that the registration desk was manned primarily by ATF agents, when it was not. [/ In 1989, persons from a federal agency other than DOJ or Treasury and their friends who were camped alongside the registration table manned this station. ] Hayward admitted in an interview that only once, in all the Roundups that he

attended, did a person identify himself as an ATF agent. [ / Hayward did not identify this individual by name but referred to him as the person drinking "moonshine" in a photograph he took at the 1992 Roundup. We showed that photograph to Rightmyer who informed us that that individual is not an ATF agent. ] Hayward merely assumed that the people running the Roundup all worked for ATF.

Hayward also alleged that in 1989 ATF agents put on a skit in which one wore a Ku Klux Klan robe and a second agent, in black face, had a chain around his neck. As will be evident when we discuss events in 1990, this allegation is in error in two key respects: first, this skit occurred in 1990, not 1989; and second, none of the individuals in this skit was employed by ATF. [ / Hayward erred in smaller details as well, such as claiming that in 1989 he received meal tickets and an identification bracelet. First, the bracelets replaced the meal tickets so there were no years in which any attendees received both items. Second, the identification bracelet system was not instituted until two or three years later. ]

(iii) Hayward's motivation to

It cannot be ruled out that Hayward has intentionally made false allegations for the purpose of discrediting federal law enforcement officers in general and the ATF in particular. Hayward has admitted he "has a thing" for federal law enforcement and that he publicly raised his allegations regarding the Roundup as part of a deliberate campaign to damage ATF. We are not suggesting that someone is not credible merely because he is critical of an agency. Hayward's credibility as a critic, however, is suspect for at least three reasons.

First, for each of Hayward's specific allegations, whether it concerned the registration desk, the KKK skit, or even drinking moonshine, he claimed that an ATF agent was responsible. For many of these claims, however, we can conclusively say that the persons responsible for the actions were not connected to ATF. For others, in light of the low percentage of ATF agents present at the respective Roundup, there is no basis for inferring, as Hayward apparently did, that the acts were committed by an ATF agent. It is apparent, therefore, that Hayward's anti-ATF political agenda has caused him to make allegations for which he had no factual basis and which we have determined to be unsubstantiated. [/ The timing and means of Hayward's making these allegations are consistent with this anti-ATF agenda. First, Hayward alleged that he went to a series of Roundups, each marred by significant racist conduct. Yet he continued to attend the Roundup for several years until he was banned for his own white supremacist activities. He then made no effort to report such conduct until many years later when, coincidentally, he joined an organization whose aim is to destroy ATF. Second, the means he chose to bring his allegations suggest hostility toward ATF rather than real concern at rooting out the persons responsible for the alleged misconduct. Hayward made no effort to identify the specific perpetrators or to bring the allegations to ATF or any other law enforcement agency for an investigation. He said he heard on the radio about a discrimination suit being brought against ATF. He claimed he made two telephone calls to ATF offices in an effort to find any black agents but was unsuccessful. He then contacted the NRA, a group with a well-publicized and open hostility toward ATF and its role in gun control. Although after meeting with Hayward in Phoenix the NRA decided not to publicly take responsibility for bringing Hayward's allegations to light, Hayward said they promised to put him in touch with a reporter in Washington, D.C. who was "pro-NRA." Hayward was then contacted by a Washington Times reporter, and he related his allegations about the Roundup to this reporter. ]

Second, Hayward was himself a willing participant in many of the alleged racist activities. He said he purchased a copy of the allegedly racist cassette tape. He thought the KKK skit was "quite funny." He brought David Duke and "white power" materials to the Roundup. He told another attendee, who is Jewish, that "Duke likes the Jews. He just hates niggers." He purchased the "pocket nigger" T-shirt. He posed for a picture with a Confederate flag. [/ We were told by a witness that a copy of this picture hangs on a wall in Hayward's home. ] And despite his claims that the event was filled with racist people and racist activities, which he now states are

both inappropriate and offensive to him, he returned to several subsequent Roundups until he was told he was no longer welcome due to his own racist views. [ / Hayward's conduct outside the Roundup also suggests that he does not personally believe that racist conduct is inappropriate. He founded the Michigan chapter of the National Association For the Advancement of White People, an organization founded by Duke. In his OIG interview Hayward testified "[t]he term 'nigger' is a term that doesn't necessarily offend me because working in the black community I heard blacks use that term all the time. It is a way of talking that they have sometimes in communicating with each other. I don't hold it as the worst word in the world. I've used the term_[i]n an ethnic joke, you know. I guess it would add more color to it. But there again there is no harm intended in it _" ]

Finally, substantial evidence exists that Hayward was angry and upset that he was no longer welcome at the Roundup. When told he could not return after 1992, he asked a friend in the Fort Lauderdale police department to intercede with Rightmyer in procuring an invitation to the 1993 Roundup. When he arrived in 1993 and was told he could not enter the campground because of his David Duke and "white power" materials, he retreated to a nearby field and complained about being excluded. In 1994, despite knowing he was unwelcome, he came back to the campground to visit friends who were attending the Roundup. Finally, he told us that he returned in 1995 with the specific intent of finding material to use against ATF and the Roundup.

At best, therefore, Hayward was mistaken in his treatment of certain facts; at worst, he had a disregard for the truth when it would conflict with his anti-federal law enforcement agenda. In light of all of the factors described above, we did not accord significant weight to his testimony, standing alone, regarding alleged racist activity at the Roundup.