The mystery of the missing delegate ballots has been solved. This morning, Democratic State Committee member Stephen P. Gorman took the blame.

“I was the one who threw away the ballots.” Gorman wrote in an e-mail he sent to the committee’s membership this morning. “…I did so because I was unaware of the custom and mandate of the availablity of these particular election ballots. In all three years on the committee, no ballots was ever made available for review UNLESS there was a challenge made.”

In his letter, Forman explains he asked committee chair Anita Bonds what to do with the ballot box shortly after the vote; “Upon reflection, I can say I did not make myself entirely clear to her that the box contained ballots [when I asked] ‘what do I do with these?'” he wrote. “It is entirely reasonable that she thought I was talking only about the box and shrugged as if ‘whatever’.”

Gorman knocked down any rumors that there were unsavory motives attached to the ditching of the ballots. “There were no back room agreements or anything of the sort,” he wrote. “None of the leadership or other persons involved Thursday night had anything to do with my decision. I made an incorrect decision based on my own three year experience as vice-chair of the Party Organization and Function Committee which assumed that ALL ballots are secret.”

In a rather stunning display of accountability (or perhaps merely seizing the opportunity to slough off a thankless job) Gorman submitted his resignation from the state committee, writing, “This is a clear case of misfeasance on my part.”

LL was unable to reach Gorman for comment earlier today. Full letter after the jump.

Good morning,

First of all, I would like to thank Mr. Panell for his email and express my gratitude that even though he resigned as chair of Ward 8 Democrats, that he never ceased to care about the affairs of the DC Democratic Party. I am sincere and am not joking when I say I wish more DC residents were as passionately active as Phil Panell.

I was the one who threw away the ballots. In spite of my three years on the Party Organization and Function Committee, I did so because I was unaware of the custom and mandate of the availablity of these particular election ballots. In all three years on the committee, no ballots was ever made available for review UNLESS there was a challenge made. Since challenges were a frequent enough occurrance, the Party Organization and Function Committee followed a specific protocol – return all ballots back into the ballot box and secure the box.

In the absence of challenges, the results would stand and be duely “certified” when recorded by the Recording Secretary upon announcement from the dais during the DCDSC meeting. Further, whenever there were no challenges, there was no reason to keep ballots. In fact, usually the only materials kept were the voting rolls because the books had to be returned to BOEE.

As you all know, the results were announced and accepted by the DCDSC body and duely recorded by MR. Collins. There were no challenges and the results stood. I did go to Anita in the middle of the hubbub with the box and ask her what to do with it. Upon reflection, I can say I did not make myself entirely clear to her that the box contained ballots because I asked said “what do I do with these?” It is entirely reasonable that she thought I was talking only about the box and shrugged as if “whatever”.

One final point. It was not until Monday that I was informed by Mr. Meadows of the tradition of retaining these particular ballots.

This is a clear case of misfeasance on my part. There were no back room agreements or anything of the sort. None of the leadership or other persons involved Thursday night had anything to do with my decision. I made an incorrect decision based on my own three year experience as vice-chair of the Party Organization and Function Committee which assumed that ALL ballots are secret.

With all due respect to all and given the gravity of my error, I am submitting my resignation from the DCDSC.

Sincerely, Stephen P. Gorman