AMA Statement on Resignation of President


Sep 22, 2000
1/31/01 - AMA Statement on Resignation of President

Posted by CN Staff


Thorton Questioned
The AMA issued a statement today, January 31, concerning the departure of J. Scott Thornton from the presidency of the AMA. Thornton resigned last fall amid questions that were raised about the veracity of his service in the Air Force by an Internet website,, which uncovers false claims about military service. The site checked the accuracy of a story Thornton wrote for “American Motorcyclist,” that they claim also appeared on the AMA website, about his service in Vietnam and found it not to be credible. After filing a Freedom of Information Act Request for his military records, they determined that, although he did serve in the Air Force, he had not served in Vietnam. The website came to the following conclusion: “J. Scott Thornton is a liar, fake, fraud and impostor.” The AMA statement follows:

Update on presidential transition.

In recent days, questions have been raised on some websites about the circumstances leading to the departure of Scott Thornton as AMA president last fall. As previously stated by the Association, Mr. Thornton chose to retire during a meeting of the AMA Board of Trustees on October 27.

As is the case with most employers, the AMA has long had an official position of not commenting publicly on personnel matters, most of which are discussed in executive sessions of the AMA Board. However, because this issue has been raised in a public forum, the AMA is releasing the following:

Mr. Thornton had been hired as AMA president under a one-year contract that began November 1, 1999. That contract called for an evaluation and a decision on contract renewal at the end of the contract period. During this evaluation, questions arose concerning the accuracy of various facts, including those contained in Mr. Thornton's column published in the September 2000 issue of American Motorcyclist that purported to discuss his experiences during the Vietnam War.

It was of great concern to the AMA Board of Trustees that statements made in the Association's publication be factually correct. The Board's investigation revealed that there were valid questions about the facts in this column. Before the conclusion of the evaluation, Mr. Thornton announced his retirement to the Board.

The Board decided to name Robert Rasor, who has been involved in the AMA and its government relations efforts for 28 years, to replace Thornton as AMA president. Under his leadership, the Association remains focused on continued growth by reaching out to all types of motorcyclists.


Ken & Diane James
AMA Field Reps #869
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