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Leslie Cagan, one of the self-proclaimed "dissidents" on the national board, accuses Leid of acting "in unilateral ways that have created a climate of confusion. People are never quite sure when they might get a notice like Robert got, or get banned from the station." Cagan adds, "It's pretty clear that you can't [remove] 22 people and have a strong case against all of them."
Leid reports to Pacifica national executive director Bessie Wash. But "the board has let Bessie and Utrice run wild," Cagan says, despite the dissidents' repeated requests to "step in and stop what we see as a destructive pattern" at WBAI. Because the current board is divided between five "dissidents" and six "majority" members, the balance could change very quickly.
Ken Ford, vice chair of the Pacifica board, says he's in a "no-win situation" with WBAI, because the current bylaws give the board no power over station management, and a recent attempt to change the bylaws prompted certain opponents to sue. He claims that Leid has "legitimate" complaints about each person she has removed, ranging from "violation of ethical principles" to a lack of "professional accountability." Leid did not return a call for comment.
In the latest violation of due process, Leid has banned Knight from the premises of WBAI. Knight says that on the night of August 1, a security guard told him, "The boss does not want you in sight."
"With her continuing arrogance and lack of procedure," says Knight, "she may have actually caused her own removal."
Post-Straight: How Gay Men Are Remodeling Regular Guys, by Chris Nutter