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No Pursuit in Skating Coach Case

June 2, 1999

DETROIT (AP) _ The United States Figure Skating Association has decided against pursuing a sexual misconduct case against former Detroit Skating Club coach Richard Callaghan.

The USFSA said in a letter, the contents of which were reported by the Detroit Free Press on Wednesday, that it does not have jurisdiction in the case against Callaghan, who helped Tara Lipinski win a gold medal at last year’s Nagano Olympics.

Craig Maurizi, a former colleague of Callaghan’s at the Skating Club, had filed a complaint against Callaghan with the USFSA.

USFSA ethics committee chairman Jon Jackson sent the letter, which Maurizi received Tuesday, to inform him that he had waited too long to file his grievance.

It needed to be mailed within 60 days of the alleged violation for the USFSA to act, Jackson wrote in the letter.

``Your grievance alleges misconduct that occurred approximately 14 years ago,″ Jackson wrote. ``It appears from your own allegations that you were aware of the alleged misconduct at the time it occurred. Therefore, your grievance is hereby dismissed.″

In a story first published in The New York Times, Maurizi said Callaghan made improper advances to him when he was a teen-ager.

Maurizi, now 36, said Callaghan abused his authority three years later to initiate a full sexual relationship, which continued for four years.

``I would have thought that morally, (the USFSA) would feel they had an obligation to do something _ to show that they are proactive instead of reactive,″ Maurizi told the Free Press, from Marlboro, Mass., where he is director of the New England Figure Skating Association.

Callaghan, who was ``shocked and dismayed″ by the accusations, has vehemently denied them.

``We are confident that when the chair of the grievance committee reviews the allegations, it will find the grievance lacks merit and will take the appropriate action,″ Dean Groulx, Callaghan’s attorney, had said previously.

This is the first time anyone _ including Maurizi _ has filed a formal complaint against Callaghan, who also coached Todd Eldredge to five national titles and a world championship. Maurizi continued working with Callaghan after their alleged relationship ended, coaching with him in San Diego and Detroit.

Maurizi was Callaghan’s assistant at the Skating Club until last year, when they split after Lipinski left Callaghan and decided to train with Maurizi.

Maurizi is still awaiting word from the Professional Skaters Association on his grievance filed with that coaches’ organization.