U.S. judge orders fired executive to leave Pacifica Foundation office

Reuters News
Posted: May 14, 2014 12:03 AM

By Mary Papenfuss

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A U.S. judge has ordered the fired executive director of California's Pacifica Foundation Radio in Berkeley to leave the office she has been occupying around the clock for the last two months, saying she was trespassing.

The Pacifica board voted 11-7 to fire Summer Reese, 40, from her $105,000 job in March. Days later, Reese returned with bolt cutters and moved into the office with her mother and other supporters, equipped with air mattresses for beds.

Reese's presence in the office "constitutes a trespass and nuisance," Alameda County Judge Ioana Petrou ruled Monday, granting the board a temporary restraining order against Reese.

The judge also denied a motion that would have allowed Reese to keep her job until a lawsuit filed by board members supporting her is determined.

Pacifica board Chair Margy Wilkinson called the decision a "total victory." Wilkinson said Reese left the office voluntarily after the order and the transition was "relatively peaceful."

Enough's Enough
Walter E. Williams

Pacifica runs five progressive radio stations across the country, including KPFA in Berkeley and New York's WBAI.

The parties have been ordered next week to a mandatory judicial settlement conference.

(Editing by Miral Fahmy)