Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Three Week Narrow Restraining Order Granted

Berkeley- Alameda Superior Court Judge Ioana Petrou issued a temporary restraining order today pending a new preliminary injunction hearing scheduled for June 3, 2014 at 9am in Department 15. The restraining order states ""Pending the hearing on the order to show cause (on June 3rd), Reese is enjoined from entering, remaining, blocking ingress into or egress from, or the passage of persons into and out of PFR's national office at 1925 Berkeley Way. The court at this time, limits the temporary restraining order to Summer Reese herself. PFR has not identified Does 1-100 and each of them, their agents, employees and representatives and all persons acting in concert or participating" with her, nor has it provided any information that would allow anyone seeking to enforce this order who these individuals may be. PFR may seek to expand the scope of this temporary restraining order upon a showing that those individuals are trespassing at the national office or committing a nuisance or disorderly conduct"

The full temporary ruling can be found here.  http://www.mediafire.com/download/609la5sdxzti0ax/Order-denying+PJ-granting+TRO.pdf

A FAQ about the events of the last 90 days can be found here. http://www.unitedforcommunityradio.org/?p=981

The narrow ruling did not substantively address the underlying issues and focused exclusively on Reese's physical presence at the nonprofit's headquarters. It will be in effect until June 3rd, with a PDGG opposition due to the court on May 20th. Upcoming hearings will include the June 3rd hearing as to whether the restraining order will continue past that date, a June 12th hearing on whether to remove Siegel and Yee as Pacifica's legal representative in the matter going forward, and the PDGG legal complaint in toto.

The ruling indicated that at this time, the court is not yet convinced that the PDGG directors will prevail in the long-term, which is the legal standard that must be met to merit the issuance of a preliminary injunction. The underlying legal case will continue to trial or settlement, with the temporary restraining order up for reconsideration on June 3rd.

The specific focus of the ruling leaves many matters up in the air for a while longer, including breach of fiduciary duty charges against the rogue board majority, the status of the terminated/rehired CFO with numerous workplace complaints and a hijacked workplace investigation report, several sets of contested board minutes, the questionable status of the board officers, and the long-term status of Reese and whether she is entitled to injunctive relief due to being fired for failing to disclose a social security number, and what the economic impact of that inadequately-noticed termination will be on the struggling nonprofit.

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

The court decision, if upheld on June 3rd, may also clear the way for "organizational darwinism" (as the decision to partition the network was described by attorney Dan Siegel) to prevail as the California stations may be poised to throw the weaker East Coast and Midwest stations overboard by either withholding financial support or selling off the wekaer units to endow the stronger ones, as some board members have publicly recommended.

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. https://soundcloud.com/tracy-rosenberg/twit-wit-radio-march-30th

Management instability will continue with the interim executive director appointed by the rogue board majority describing his tenure in the position as "just a few months" and the board having no search process for a replacement convened or underway, opening the prospect of at least one more proposed interim executive director appointment following Duncan, if no corrective action is taken eventually by the court.

KPFA's Community Advisory Board announced more town hall meetings:

One on May 17th at the Marcus Garvey building at 1485 8th Street in West Oakland http://www.unitedforcommunityradio.org/?p=946

One at EastSide Arts Alliance at 2277 International Boulevard in Fruitvale on June 21st.

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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