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Wrong Summer Reese?

Ms. Summer Reese

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Background Information

Employment History

Corporation for Public Broadcasting

Executive Director

Pacifica Radio



Local Station Board Member

Local Station Board

The General Manager Search Committee

Freedom Law School

Web References (197 Total References)

PNB chair Margy Wilkinson on KPFK’s Truthdig Radio [cached]

Filed Under: Margy Wilkinson, Pacifica National Board, Summer Reese

Who is Summer Reese? [cached]

Who is Summer Reese?

Reese using a bolt cutter to break into Pacifica's offices
Summer Reese came to the Pacifica board via sister station KPFK in Los Angeles. She is a close ally of former Pacifica treasurer Tracy Rosenberg, and was appointed by last year's board as the network's interim executive director at a salary of $105,000. (That's higher that former ED Arlene Engelhardt's salary, which was $90,000.)
According to a new article in the LA Weekly, Reese's break-in at the Pacifica office included lawsuit threats. The article charts Reese's background, which "includes stints working for the lawyer of Sirhan Sirhan, and for a man named Peymon Mottahedeh, a non-lawyer who nevertheless founded the Freedom Law School, which claims to help clients avoid taxes."
KPFK host Peter Z. Scheer didn't comment directly on Reese in Truthdig, but notes that "The oldest public radio network in America is in trouble...Get involved, find out what is going on, and make a difference."
"Reese and Rosenberg, et al., have practically destroyed the Pacifica network, and the unfounded rumors they are now spreading are outrageous.
Filed Under: Arlene Engelhardt, elections and governance, KPFK, Pacifica National Board, Summer Reese, Tracy RosenbergTagged With: kpfk, recall Tracy Rosenberg, Summer Reese
Filed Under: Arlene Engelhardt, elections and governance, KPFK, Pacifica National Board, Summer Reese, Tracy RosenbergTagged With: kpfk, recall Tracy Rosenberg, Summer Reese

Pacifica Board Fires Executive Director Summer Reese [cached]

Last Thursday the national board of the Pacifica Foundation fired Executive Director Summer Reese, who was hired for the position in November after serving on an interim basis for more than a year.

The how and why of Reese's ouster are unclear. According to the New York Times article that broke the story, board members on the conference call meeting said that no cause was stated for the motion to fire her. Pacifica Board Chair Margy Wilkinson did not elaborate in comments made to both the Times and to Current.
Then, on Monday, Reese reported to work at Pacifica's Berkeley, California offices. In an email memo to Pacifica station managers, staffers and programmers she made reference to "illegitimate actions of board members," and maintained that she has a "signed and valid contract for three years of employment from the Board of Directors, and that I full intent to complete that contract[.]"
According to Current, Wilkinson asked Reese to leave, and Reese refused.
As of 2 PM Pacific Time on Tuesday I have neither read nor received any additional reports indicating if Reese is still reporting to work at Pacifica headquarters, nor heard any additional response from the Pacifica national board.
I will continue to report on Summer Reese's status and the state of the Pacifica Foundation as we receive verifiable information.
Community Radio, featured, Margy Wilkinson, Pacifica, Pacifica National Board, Summer Reese
We thank Summer Reese for her service to date and will not continue her employment effective March 14, 2014 "
Interestingly it doesn't say (1) which party terminated the employment of Ms Reese, & (2) why this has happened. (Also it says "employees", so other than just Ms Reese.)
I would like to bring to the attention of readers what is purported to be relevant clauses of Ms Reese's employment contract with Pacifica.
"Summer Reese shall be removable by Pacifica for cause for the duration of this employment contract [. . .] The following constitutes cause and its grounds to terminate the employment of Reese. (i) A willful breach of this Agreement or the willful and repeated neglect by Reese to perform duties that she is required to perform as Executive Director;
The contract with Summer Reese never went into effect, for two reasons: First, the agreement that Pacifica's Board of Directors made with Summer last year provided that it would go into effect only after a background check was completed and approved by the Board. That never occurred. Second, the contract that Tracy Rosenberg keeps writing about was engineered by 2 of her allies on the previous board, but was never authorized or approved by that board. in February of this year, a new Board of Directors took office, apparently examined the above, and likely concluded that Summer Reese was not yet permanently hired by the Pacifica foundation. Now it is important to examine office in a historical context, specifically how did Ms. Reese perform while she was the interim executive director of the foundation? And that is really what this is all about.
What follows is the track record of Miss Reese over the last few years, including her tenure as the chair of the Board of Directors, and her performance as the interim executive director while simultaneously holding the position of chair of the national board, obviously a conflict of interest that has led to the results listed below.
Reese was chair of the Pacifica board in 2011, 2012, and 2013. During the last 18 months, she was also the network's interim executive director.
At New York's WBAI, Reese fired or drove out two program directors, and gave huge blocks of airtime to vitamin entrepreneur Gary Null, whose peddling of questionable supplements brought attention from the CPB Ombudsperson's office after listener complaints that the station's fundraising was "ethically-challenged," and whose position denying HIV has angered many in the AIDS activist community.
At KPFA, Reese abruptly transferred general manager Andrew Phillips last year to the program director job at WBAI, then would not let him do the job he'd been tapped for. Reese also failed to appoint a new KPFA general manager as required by the bylaws, even though the Local Station Board hiring committee had interviewed and chosen four acceptable candidates.
So that is her track record, which she will insist is a positive track record, but many involved in the Pacifica radio network think otherwise.

Let It Go: Today’s Technology Makes the Pacifica Radio Network Obsolete | The Leftist Review [cached]

News Item: The Pacifica National Board (PNB) unceremoniously fired executive director Summer Reese via telephone conference call in mid-March under circumstances pointing to a complete lack of due process. Ms. Reese, claiming she was in possession of a validly signed 3-year employment contract, went to work the next business day, cut the lock off the door and has been occupying the Pacifica National Office in Berkeley, California, with her mother and several supporters ever since. Both her side and her opponents state that the other workers in the office are not being interfered with. There has been no disruption to the operations of KPFA, the network's flagship station, next door. An Alameda County judge has refused to issue a temporary restraining order that would have reinstated Ms. Reese pending resolution of a lawsuit filed by her supporters on the board.

Summer Reese's enemies took over and they booted her (or tried to boot her) and claimed they were not responsible for the employment contract signed by the previous board.

Pacifica board takes action on election, WBAI crisis [cached]

Pacifica's bylaws required it to hold elections in 2013, but Pacifica's executive director Summer Reese failed to hire anyone to run them, and that year's board ratified her inaction by voting to postpone elections - effectively extending many of their own terms.

Filed Under: budget, elections and governance, Free Speech Radio News, Pacifica, Pacifica National Board, Summer Reese, WBAITagged With: budget, Pacifica, Pacifica National Board, WBAI
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