Wednesday, April 9, 2014

A Longer Occupation and a January Conspiracy

 A Longer Occupation and a January Conspiracy
April 9, 2014 at 10:28pm
Berkeley-Today's hearing at Department 15 of Alameda Superior Court booted the referendum on the breaching of the executive director's contract into May. A procedural requirement to individually serve 12 defendants in 5 different cities (including one with no established place of residence) was virtually impossible in the abbreviated time frame between the filing on April 3rd and the hearing on the morning of April 9th. The judge indicated an inclination to grant the requested injunction and set out an expedited schedule to get the matter back into the courtroom as soon as possible. The timeline shift from a TRO to a preliminary injunction extends the on-going chaos for another month, with unclear lines of authority and dueling national offices (one set up on the 2nd floor inside of KPFA). Siegel and Yee partner Alan Yee appeared solely representing disputed board chair Margy Wilkinson. Yee's employee Jose Luis Fuentes is the author of the motion to fire Reese. The Pacifica Foundation and the 11 remaining defendants had no legal representation.
  An open letter to the Board objecting to the breach of the Executive Director's contract signed by hundreds of staffers, volunteers and listeners across the country can be found here

LA Board member Lydia Brazon, one of the defendants, engaged in private correspondence with former CFO Raul Salvador, who was let go on January 2, 2014. Only 4 days after the board decision, Brazon assured Salvador on January 6th he would be re-hired, doing so prior to the election of new board members. Here is Brazon's email of January 6th, 2014


From: Lydia Brazon []Sent: Monday, January 06, 2014 2:00 PMTo:

Subject: are you in L.A?

I rec'd your call, I hadn't notice {sic} this email but want to make sure you get your full pay just in case... If you're in L.A., you can say you were in L.A. for the wknd but given her {Summer Reese's}  email, you see no immediate need to return to Berkeley so you will turn in the Pacifica equipment to KPFK.

Of course, I believe you'll get them back soon but wouldn't want to advise you jeopardize your continued salary.



Oakland law firm Siegel and Yee attempted on March 28th to route Pacifica's payroll processing through their office, asking Pacifica's payroll administration company to contact "their office" for instructions. The law firm's attempt to take over Pacifica's internal operations was rejected by the vendor, which forwarded the correspondence to national office staff at 1925 Berkeley Way. The accompanying email is below and the letter on Siegel and Yee letterhead can be found here. It is not clear if the partners at Fuente's firm, Alan Yee, former Oakland City Council member Jane Brunner, and Oakland mayoral candidate Dan Siegel, gave Fuentes permission to misrespresent Siegel and Yee as Pacifica's attorneys.

From: "JLF-SY" <>Date: March 28, 2014 at 5:52:03 PM PDT


Subject: Pacifica Foundation Radio Change in Management

Mr. Gudselak,

Attach {sic} is a letter from our office notifying Paychex of change of management at the Foundation.

Jose Luis Fuentes SIEGEL & YEE 499 14TH Street, Suite 300 Oakland, California 94612Tel: (510) 839-1200 x. 206 Fax: (510) 444-6698 Email:

A video interview with Reese shot on March 31, 2014 at the Pacifica headquarters can be seen here.

Reese was also interviewed  on WBAI's Off The Hook on April 2nd.

Dan Siegel represented the Pacifica Foundation in the mid-2000's during multiple employee sexual harassment complaints against KPFK manager Eva Georgia. Siegel represented both Pacifica itself and Georgia personally in the two suits, one by news reporter Mollie Paige, and after settling both,, ascended to the interim executive director position. He then negotiated Georgia's generous severance package with his former client. His firm Siegel and Yee, then billed Pacifica for several hundred thousand in legal fees. It is expected the entire mess cost listener-sponsors in excess of  $750,000.

Siegel then did a repeat turn as corporate counsel/interim executive director in 2007-2008, and in March of 2008, fired national election supervisor Casey Peters and named himself as his replacement, thus filling all 3 positions simultaneously. In 2009, Siegel ran for the local KPFA board and testified against Pacifica under oath that former CFO Hicks was victimized by racist attitudes resulting in a $440,000 settlement. Siegel resigned from the Pacifica board on January 9, 2014 to run for the mayor of Oakland. He is currently polling at 6%, according to a late February poll.

A copy of a complaint filed with the CA Attorney General by 8 former members of the national board can be found here

The rogue board has still not released minutes from any open session meeting all year and has not released closed session minutes from February 7, 8, 9, 10 and 20   March 6, and 27, or April 3. The fiscal 2013 audit has been delayed for more than 7 months after the end of the fiscal year. $1.5 million dollars in Corporation for Public Broadcasting Funding is being held back. Houston station KPFT's license expired in August of 2013. WBAI's license expires in June of 2014.

KPFK staffers have requested the opportunity to vote on whether to recall their staff representative on the national board, Rodrigo Argueta. Their petition alleging "hasty and reckless actions taken with no consultation with those he claims to represent" can be found here

Disputed chair Margy Wilkinson is reported to have said with regard to Reese's attempted firing; "it isn't illegal until someone says it is".

Reese has continued to report to work at the national headquarters since March 17th.


Started in 1946 by conscientious objector Lew Hill, Pacifica's storied history includes impounded program tapes for a 1954 on-air discussion of marijuana, broadcasting the Seymour Hersh revelations of the My Lai massacre, bombings by the Ku Klux Klan, going to jail rather than turning over the Patty Hearst tapes to the FBI, and Supreme Court cases including the 1984 decision that noncommercial broadcasters have the constitutional right to editorialize, and the Seven Dirty Words ruling following George Carlin's incendiary performances on WBAI. Pacifica Foundation Radio operates noncommercial radio stations in New York, Washington, Houston, Los Angeles, and the San Francisco Bay Area, and syndicates content to over 180 affiliates. It invented listener-supported radio.



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