East Bay
East Bay
Indybay Regions North Coast Central Valley North Bay East Bay South Bay San Francisco Peninsula Santa Cruz IMC - Independent Media Center for the Monterey Bay Area North Coast Central Valley North Bay East Bay South Bay San Francisco Peninsula Santa Cruz IMC - Independent Media Center for the Monterey Bay Area California United States International Americas Haiti Iraq Palestine Afghanistan
From the Open-Publishing Calendar
From the Open-Publishing Newswire
Indybay Feature
Wed Dec 14 2022
Fired Pacifica Director's Lawsuit Leaves KPFA in Dire Straights
KPFA Facing Layoffs, Massive Budget Shortfall After US Marshals Seize $305,000 of Reserves
Even though KPFA was not a party in the matter, US Marshals seized $305,000 of KPFA’s cash reserves to pay for a monetary judgment against the Pacifica Foundation, its parent organization. The asset seizure resulted from a defamation lawsuit filed by Pacifica former interim executive director John Vernile in 2019 against programmers of WBAI in New York. Pacifica lawyers filed an appeal on December 8 to block the judgment, and said they will sell foundation assets to recoup KPFA's loss, but KPFA is now facing layoffs and a massive budget shortfall.

According to court filings, the defamation claim arose from Vernile’s decision to lock out WBAI staff and replace locally produced programming in October 2019, three months into his term as interim executive director. WBAI successfully sued to block the move. The Pacifica National Board sided with the station and fired Vernile, saying he acted improperly without the Board’s authorization. He then filed an arbitration demand for wrongful termination. WBAI programmers discussed his actions on air, claiming Vernile had been hired to sell WBAI and was part of a group staging a coup. Other programmers called him a "rat" and a "crook." The arbiter ruled Vernile had exceeded his authority and was not wrongfully terminated, but agreed there was no evidence he was hired to take down WBAI and that he was defamed.

Pacifica's appeal of the judgment asserts that a defamation case has no place in a wrongful termination arbitration process. In the court filing, Pacifica says the WBAI employees made comments on air six weeks after Vernile’s firing, and they should be covered by the First Amendment.

article Federal Marshals Seize KPFA Assets to Pay Defamation Judgment Against New York Sister Station | article Pacifica Foundation can’t dodge $300,000 defamation award for fired executive
2024-06-11 If Passed, Measure J Will Ban "Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations" Front Page | North Bay / Marin | Government & Elections | Animal Liberation2024-06-11 Activists Stand in Solidarity with Horses Who Lost Their Lives at Race Track Front Page | East Bay | Animal Liberation2024-06-11 Two Years After Shireen Abu Akleh Was Killed, There Still Is No Justice Front Page | Anti-War | Media Activism & Independent Media | San Francisco | International | Palestine2024-06-11 Crisis Team Provides Students with Non-Police Response to Mental Health Crises Front Page | Police State & Prisons | Health, Housing & Public Services | Education & Student Activism | California | Santa Cruz Indymedia2024-06-11 Only a Couple of Thousand Adult Leatherback Turtles Remain in the Pacific Ocean Front Page | Environment & Forest Defense | San Francisco | Peninsula | North Bay / Marin | North Coast | California | Animal Liberation | Santa Cruz Indymedia2024-05-25 Demonstrators Denounce Tech Giant's Contracts with Israeli Military Front Page | Anti-War | Peninsula | U.S. | International | Palestine2024-05-13 Actions Call on Biden to Declare a Climate Emergency and End Fossil Fuels Front Page | Environment & Forest Defense | Global Justice & Anti-Capitalism | Education & Student Activism | San Francisco | Peninsula | California | U.S. | Palestine2024-05-08 Resistance to Deceptive Forest Service Measure Is Growing Front Page | Environment & Forest Defense | Central Valley | California | U.S.2024-05-08 Regulators Fail to Protect Schoolchildren from Repeated Exposure to Dangerous Pesticides Front Page | Environment & Forest Defense | Racial Justice | Health, Housing & Public Services | Labor & Workers | Education & Student Activism | Santa Cruz Indymedia2024-04-24 Across the Globe, Students Set Up Encampments in Solidarity with Palestinians Front Page | Police State & Prisons | Anti-War | Education & Student Activism | Central Valley | San Francisco | South Bay | East Bay | Peninsula | North Bay / Marin | North Coast | California | U.S. | International | Palestine | Santa Cruz Indymedia2024-04-09 Deal Described as One of the Most Significant Urban Land Back Victories in US History Front Page | Environment & Forest Defense | Racial Justice | East Bay
We are 100% volunteer and depend on your participation to sustain our efforts!


$40.00 donated
in the past month

Get Involved

If you'd like to help with maintaining or developing the website, contact us.


Publish your stories and upcoming events on Indybay.

IMC Network