The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

November 21, 2013

Letter: Scout executive provides perspective

Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — In response to a recent front-page article in the Lawton Constitution reporting on the sentencing of Brian Lewis on charges of child abuse and pornography (and subsequent article, “Scout leader caught with EPD help sentenced to prison for sex crimes,” in the Nov. 14 Enid News & Eagle), it is very important for me, as the scout executive of the Last Frontier Council, to provide our perspective.

Let be me be clear: The Boy Scouts of America and the Last Frontier Council deplore the deviant behavior that resulted in the appropriate conviction of Mr. Lewis, as clearly reported in the story. Not only that — we will not tolerate it.   

In that regard, as is our standard practice, we conducted a background check on Mr. Lewis. The background check raised no red flags. Mr. Lewis went through our intense youth protection training program and again, no red flags.

Upon learning of the potential charges against Mr. Lewis, we promptly removed him from our organization. This happened several months ago. There were neither indications nor allegations that Mr. Lewis harmed any Scouts.

We were surprised when these allegations surfaced.  Moreover, out of our immediate concern to never compromise the safety of our Scouts, we undertook what I believe was the only responsible action — remove Mr. Lewis and support the investigation.  

Being part of a great organization, respected and recognized for working to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices, we will never compromise on our demand that Scout leaders never waiver from the high standards and values guiding the Boy Scouts of America.

Jeff Woolsey, an Oklahoma City resident, is scout executive/CEO of the Last Frontier Council