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Corrupt KPFA Manager Quincy McCoy Sent $80,00 of KPFA Funds To Support WBAI Shutdown
by Repost
Friday May 15th, 2020 10:57 AM
The KPFA manager Quincy McCoy illegally transferred $80,000 of KPFA membership funds to help support the illegal shutdown of WBAI in New York. He did this without letting the LSB know or even the rest of the Pacifica Board members. He has been supported by Sabrina Jacobs, Chris Cory and Sharon Adams who also supported illegal shutdown
sm_wbai_studio__ransacked.jpg
Corrupt KPFA Manager Quincy McCoy Illegally Sent $80,00 of KPFA Funds To Support Shutdown Of WBAI


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 15, 2020

KPFA GM and Business Manager Funded WBAI Shutdown

Berkeley - Law firm Foster Garvey has revealed that $80,000 was secretly wired from Berkeley radio station KPFA's operating account in October of 2019 to the law firm that was defending the failed WBAI shutdown. The amount represents approximately one out of every five dollars donated in KPFA's September/October fall fund drive.

In an email from Foster Garvey's collections coordinator to Pacifica's counsel, the law firm stated:

We received a panicked call from the Executive Director [John Vernile] that Pacifica had been sued and we needed to respond to a TRO that night on 10/7/2019. We sent Kara Steger from our NY office to meet the judge in his condo lobby with you that night. We do not have a formal engagement letter on this. We did not know the ED had a deadlocked board until later, and the opinion of Pacifica’s California corporate counsel was that some of the members not supporting the ED’s decision had a conflict of interest. The ED arranged to pay us an $80K advance on fees relating to the litigation. It came from one of the West Coast Pacifica stations to fund our work. See attached wire confirmation email.

The Foster Garvey firm is attempting to collect an additional $150,000 for their failed defense of the WBAI shutdown for a total of $230,000. In the email thread, Pacifica counsel Arthur Schwartz states:

I have been told by my predecessor, Ford Greene, that he advised Vernile that the action he was planning was ultra vires [taken without the proper authority], and then he went off, without getting the consent of the Board.

The secret wires were made on October 18 and October 29. This document confirms the first $40,000 installment on October 18th and is from KPFA business manager Maria Negret and copied to KPFA general manager Quincy McCoy and Tamra Swiderski, an employee of financial consultant NETA. The second wire transfer on October 29th was apparently conducted by telephone.

The Pacifica National Board, by majority vote, had suspended Vernile from the executive director position and placed him on leave on October 13, 2019 and again on October 20, 2019. Pacifica National Board members have stated they were told in closed session meetings that Foster Garvey was litigating against WBAI and the Pacifica Board to defend the shutdown on a "pro bono" basis. Those statements were false.

The National Board was unaware $80,000 in KPFA member donations had been sent to Foster Garvey by KPFA management because the transactions were not recorded as an expense. According to financial consultant NETA, KPFA business manager Negret recorded the withdrawals as a "loan" to the Pacifica National Office. Financial consultant NETA, although copied on the October 2019 transactions, released profit and loss statements on February 24th for the 3-month period ending on December 31, 2019 that did not show the $80,000 in additional legal expenses in October. Profit and loss statements released to the finance committee and the PNB did not show the expense again on January 31, February 29, and March 31, 2020.

You can listen to a portion of the National Finance Committee's discussion of the secret wire transfers to Foster Garvey on May 12. The committee was asked by the PNB to investigate the unauthorized expenditures. The 10 minute clip is somewhat astonishing with 2019 national treasurer Chris Cory from KPFA saying the wire transfers "slipped through the cracks" . Anita Simms, from financial consultant NETA, said the vendor that is charging Pacifica more than a quarter million dollars a year for outsourced accounting, had to investigate where the transfer - that NETA staff were copied on - was located.

Present at the meeting were KPFA's local station board treasurer Sharon Adams as well as 2019 national board treasurer Cory, also from KPFA. Neither indicated whether they were aware of the wire transfers when they occurred. Adams had previously insisted that KPFA was "completely uninvolved" with the WBAI shutdown, apart from KPFA general manager Quincy McCoy's role in arranging for piped in content to be aired on WBAI's signal during the shutdown. KPFA's local station board, which is responsible for oversight of the station's budget and ongoing expenditures, was not told $80,000 removed from KPFA's operating account by KPFA management and directed to the Seattle-based Foster-Garvey law firm. Foster Garvey's litigation was defeated in NY's State Supreme Court on November 6, 2019 after the law firm tried and failed to transfer the litigation to the federal courts.

A revision of the Pacifica Foundation bylaws which would have replaced the member-elected Pacifica Foundation board with a majority self-appointed board was unofficially championed by a majority of the KPFA local station board, but overwhelmingly rejected by the network's members and staffers in March of 2020.

If you value being kept up to speed on Pacifica Radio news via this newsletter, you can make a little contribution to keep Pacifica in Exile publishing . Donations are secure, but not tax-deductible.

To subscribe to this newsletter, please visit our website at http://www.pacificainexile.org


On Wed, Mar 18, 2020 at 5:15 PM Steve Camasi wrote:

Hi Arthur. We have represented Pacifica for over 30 years. We received a panicked call from the Executive Director that Pacifica had been sued and we needed to respond to a TRO that night on 10/7/2019. See attached “timely” email. We sent Kara Steger from our NY office to meet the judge in his condo lobby with you that night. We do not have a formal engagement letter on this. We did not know the ED had a deadlocked board until later, and the opinion of Pacifica’s California corporate counsel was that some of the members not supporting the ED’s decision to fire the GM of WBAI, stem the red ink, and re-do the local programming on the NY station had a conflict of interest. The ED arranged to pay us an $80K advance on fees relating to the litigation. It came from one of the West Coast Pacifica stations to fund our work. See attached wire confirmation email. The local judge in NY subsequently disagreed board members were conflicted from voting with one or 2 exceptions. The board then fired the ED. At that point, we tried to withdraw. You would not agree to allow us to withdraw because you wanted FG to sign a settlement. We at that point had no authority to proceed one way or the other, but only to withdraw, because of the conflict of interest it presented and which could have potentially damaged the appeal rights of Pacifica. We withdrew as soon as we were allowed to withdraw.

Steve Camasi Collections Coordinator

Foster Garvey PC

T

From: Arthur Schwartz [mailto:aschwartz [at] advocatesny.com]
Sent: Monday, March 16, 2020 9:43 PM
To: Steve Camasi
Cc: Pacifica Executive Director; Maria Negret; Alex Steinberg; Grace Aaron; DeWayne Lark Subject: Re: 420856 Pacifica Foundation, Inc.

Hi Steve, I am Pacifica's new General Counsel.

Most of the outstanding invoice involves a $150,000 bill for representing "Pacifica" in the WBAI vs. Pacifica case. I will write you more fully about it, but no one can figure out who gave Foster Garvey authority to run up the bill that was run up. Much of the litigation involved efforts by Foster Garvey counsel to explain why repeated votes of the Pacifica National Board were unlawful, and why John Vernile, the former ED, had authority to shut down a radio station without Board approval. I have been told by my predecessor, Forde Greene, that he advised Vernile that the action he was planning was ultra vires, and then he went off, without getting consent of the Board, to retain Foster Garvey to defend a lawsuit which the Board majority did not want to defend.


Foster Garvey has been retained to provide FCC and FEC guidance, and that retainer was drawn upon as payment for the bill which was run up. Foster Garvey even billed Pacifica for a motion to withdraw because counsel did not want to take instruction from the Board, and asserted that no one was in charge after November 7, 2019, when Vernile was fired. The first thing you can do is provide a letter or agreement of retention, and we can work from there.

Arthur Z. Schwartz
Principal Attorney Advocates for Justice Chartered Attorneys President - Advocates for Justice Legal Foundation
General Counsel - The Pacifica Foundation
Treasurer - NY Progressive Action Network
Democratic District Leader - Greenwich Village, NYC

"Let's be realistic. Let's do the impossible!"
"Words that do not match deeds are not important."

Che Guevara

---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: Maria Negret
Date: Mon, Mar 16, 2020 at 2:49 PM
Subject: Re: 420856 Pacifica Foundation, Inc.
To: Steve Camasi
Cc: John Vernile, Tamra Swiderski, Anita Sims, Quincy McCoy

Hello, Steve,

I'm cc'ing the following people who will be able to give you information on future Pacifica payments.

1. Lydia Brazon, Pacifica iED
2. Anita Simms, Pacifica iCFO
3. Tamra Swiderski, Pacifica Controller

In the future, they'd be the more appropriate people to tell you when they can make payments.

Thank you, Maria



On Mon, Mar 16, 2020, 1:45 PM Steve Camasi wrote:

Maria, my reminder is up on these Nov/Dec invoices...can you please update me on payment? Thank you.

Steve Camasi Collections Coordinator

Foster Garvey PC

From: Steve Camasi
Sent: Friday, February 28, 2020 8:58 AM To: ''Maria Negret
Subject: 420856 Pacifica Foundation, Inc.

Hi Maria. I have 4 November-December invoices attached above...could you please check on the payment status for me? Thank you.

Steve Camasi Collections Coordinator

Foster Garvey PC

1111 Third Avenue, Suite 3000 Seattle, WA 98101
foster.com
mccoy_quincy_con_many.jpeg
KPFA general manager Quincy McCoy illegally transferred $80,000 of KPFA membership funds to support the closure of WBAI. He was supported KPFA programmer Sabrina Jacobs, KPFA LSB members Chris Cory and Sharon Adams. These people also supported Quincy's Pacific Across America while Jacobs was put in charge of "rebuilding" WBAI
kpfa_brian_edwards-tiekert_going_down_in_flames.jpeg
KPFA Upfront show host Brian Edwards-Tiekert support the illegal shutdown of WBAI and he along with the news department managers have refused to report the results of the bylaw vote against corporate bylaws that would have eliminated local station boards and democratic governance. He has also supported strip programming and turning KPFA and Pacifica into an NPR type operation.
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