Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Amended Complaint Filed

Berkeley-On April 15th, Pacifica celebrated a 65th broadcasting birthday, many of us filed our taxes, and Pacifica Directors for Good Governance (PBGG) filed an amended complaint in the PBGG vs. Pacifica suit. The amended complaint can be found here in a 137-page full complaint (http://www.mediafire.com/download/2t8jah3fdykrr0l/PDGG_2014-04-15_pp00...1-137.pdf) and a 24-page Memorandum of Points and Authorities. (http://www.mediafire.com/download/vl5ggcll8tyfum8/Memorandum+of+Points+and+Authorities.pdf).

The preliminary injunction request, which will be heard on May 6th in Judge Petrou's courtroom, asks for the breach of executive director Summer Reese's contract to end, for the court to declare the Chief Financial Officer position vacant and subject to an open hire process, and enjoin the board participation of three officers and board members Fuentes and Lamb, for violations of the corporations code, the Pacifica bylaws, EEOC and labor law.

The Pacifica National Board has not yet retained an attorney for the foundation after former counsel Terry Gross resigned on March 27th. Only one of the 12 defendant directors has retained individual counsel, Margy Wilkinson, who hired Alan Yee, the law partner of Dan Siegel and employer of current board member Jose-Luis Fuentes. The board has outstanding litigation in Washington DC - Ball vs. Hughes - and ongoing needs for legal advice on personnel and real estate matters, as well as broadcast law and regulation.

Reese appeared on-air at KPFK on the much-loved late night Roy of Hollywood program on April 16th. You can listen here. https://soundcloud.com/tracy-rosenberg/interview-with-pacifica

An open letter signed by hundreds of the network's staffers and supporters objecting to the breach of Reese's contract can be found here .http://2014.supportkpfa.org/?p=91

The interim executive director appointed by the rogue board majority, former KPFK general manager Bernard Duncan, appeared on-air during the birthday festivities. Duncan mentions that he had been hired for "a few months because he knows what's going on". A few minutes later, he states that he "needs to figure out what is going on." The full interview can be heard here. http://www.kpfa.org/archive/id/101941

The rogue board has still not released minutes from any open session meeting all year and has not released closed session minutes from meetings on February 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th and 20th, March 6th and 27th, or April 3rd. 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.

The next board meeting is Thursday night, April 17th at 5:30 pacific.

A satirical look at the chaos at the radio stations and what the future holds amid rumors of a network breakup by the Twit Wits comedy troupe (produced by noted theatrical producer George Coates) can be found here.

Current Magazine, the industry paper for public broadcasting, posted up one of the videos from the first day of the national office occupation. It can be found here. https://soundcloud.com/tracy-rosenberg/twit-wit-radio-march-30th

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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