News from the Board- March 2009: Removal of Board Member
March 2, 2009
To: KBOO Membership and all other interested persons
From: The KBOO Board of Directors
Taking on the role as KBOO Board member is an honored responsibility. We represent the members of KBOO to serve as the guardians for the organization, to ensure that KBOO, our community gem, continues with vibrancy into the future. Part of the guardianship also requires us to maintain an environment at KBOO that is free of harassment and intimidation, and that is supportive and respectful to the staff and volunteers.
We have reached the conclusion that Scott Forrester, a long-time volunteer who was elected to the Board of Directors in September 2008, has violated that spirit. Therefore, pursuant to the Bylaws, the Board voted to remove Mr. Forrester from the Board.
Starting soon after he was elected to the Board, KBOO received numerous complaints about Mr. Forrester’s behavior towards staff, volunteers and members. The Board addressed these complaints at several Board meetings attended by Mr. Forrester and gave him a formal letter of reprimand on October 28, 2008. In each case, the Board believed that Mr. Forrester would cease his disruptive behavior. Unfortunately, the behavior continued.
At its January 26 meeting, the Board provided a list of complaints to Mr. Forrester. Mr. Forrester asked for time to prepare a defense. Upon agreement of the Board and Mr. Forrester, a meeting was set for Thursday, February 19 to review the complaints. A follow-up was placed on the agenda for the regularly scheduled board meeting on Monday, February 23. The Board obtained the services of a facilitator from TACS to oversee the meeting.
Mr. Forrester was present at the beginning of the February 19 meeting. He made a public statement that did not address the charges and left despite the Board’s request that he participate in the meeting. The Board took written and verbal testimony on the complaints about Mr. Forrester’s behavior as a director. The Board adjourned until February 23 so that the individual directors could consider the evidence.
On the following day, Friday, February 20, KBOO was served with a lawsuit by Mr. Forrester and Michael Papadopoulos. Many of the directors were served with the lawsuit over the weekend. The essence of the lawsuit is that the membership did not properly elect the Board of Directors in September 2008.
The Board believes that the lawsuit is without merit and it intends to defend KBOO, the directors, staff, volunteers and membership. At this point, on instructions from its counsel, KBOO will not have any further comment on the lawsuit.
The February 23 Board meeting took place as scheduled. Again, Mr. Forrester made a public statement that did not address the charges and then left even though the Board once again invited him to stay and participate. After public comment and further discussion, the Board passed the following resolutions:
1. KBOO Board of Directors removes Scott Forrester from the Board of Directors for cause in accordance with Article VI, Section 8b of the KBOO Bylaws. This decision is based on his actions, and an inability to cooperate with requests to modify his behavior, which constitute a gross abuse of authority with respect to the corporation, as well as conduct that is harmful to the corporation and its employees.
(This resolution passed 11-0.)
2. KBOO Board of Directors directs KBOO staff to ban Scott Forrester from the station. We view Mr. Forrester's behavior to be a detriment to the station, and his recent filing of a lawsuit against KBOO Foundation and the Board of Directors has now placed him as an adverse party. Mr. Forrester's presence at the station may give him an unfair advantage in the litigation, and for this reason we are banning him from the station indefinitely. In addition any communication with Mr. Forrester should be accomplished through his and our attorneys.
(This resolution passed 10-0 with one abstention.)
3. KBOO Board of Directors directs KBOO staff to ban Michael Papadopolous from the station. We view Mr. Papadopolous' behavior to be a detriment to the station, and his recent filing of a lawsuit against KBOO Foundation and the Board of Directors has now placed him as an adverse party. Mr. Papadopolous' presence at the station may give him an unfair advantage in the litigation, and for this reason we are banning him from the station indefinitely. In addition any communication with Mr. Papadopolous should be accomplished through his and our attorneys.
(This resolution passed 10-0 with one abstention.)
We hope you understand that the Board only took these actions when we felt we had no other choice for the good of the KBOO community. We would have preferred to reach an accommodation with Mr. Forrester allowing him to continue to voice his opinion in a courteous and respectful manner. The ultimate sanction of removal from the Board and the station was imposed only when it was clear that Mr. Forrester intended to continue acting in a manner that threatened KBOO with the loss of valuable volunteers, staff and members.
We remain committed to our mission to the KBOO community and to the larger community. We invite the continued participation of our members and those who want to be members in the management of our affairs and the operation of our station, a participation that respects the broad range of views that our members bring to KBOO and that seeks to project the spirit of KBOO to the community in which we live.