iPNB member Allen will appeal
Houston court decision
HoustonChronicle.com -- http://www.HoustonChronicle.com
Section: Local & State
March 19, 2002, 7:52PM
Pacifica board member will appeal conviction
By ALLAN TURNER
Pacifica Foundation board member Teresa Allen vowed Tuesday she will appeal her conviction on a criminal trespass charge filed after a disturbance at the group's Houston radio station, KPFT-FM.
Allen, 50, who also is a member of the station's advisory board, was convicted of the misdemeanor offense last week. Penalties include 30 hours of community service, paying court costs, submitting to drug testing, avoiding alcoholic beverages for a year and remaining in Texas unless granted court permission to leave.
The charge stemmed from an October incident at the station's studio, 419 Lovett, which had been the scene of protests by listeners objecting to changes in the station's programming.
Allen said she was barred from the studio by a volunteer sympathetic to then-station manager Garland Ganter, who had increased listenership but, critics argued, blunted the station's political edge. Allen said she had come to the studio to monitor fund-raising activities.
She believed KPFT unwisely had replaced news and commentary programs with musical broadcasts.
The leftist listener-supported network, which operates five stations nationwide, for years had been embroiled in disputes regarding programming.
Late last year, listener lawsuits against the network were resolved, in part, through the formation of a new board of directors. Allen was named to the national board in January.
KPFT manager Duane Bradley called Allen's conviction "sad and bizarre."
National Pacifica chairwoman Leslie Cagan said the board urged prosecutors to drop the charge. The board will confer via telephone Thursday to discuss financial or other support for Allen, Cagan said.
From: Leslie Cagan
I have been in touch with Teresa Allen's lawyer for several months now, and based on a suggestion from him I had written a letter as chair of the Pacifica Board to the Houston District Attorney quite some time ago. In that letter I said that the Foundation, the owner of the station, wanted the charges dropped and that as far as we were concerned Teresa was certainly not trespassing and had every right to be in the station. The assistant DA working on the case called me in response to my letter explaining that the complaint was no longer coming from anyone at the station but now were from several police officers and there was no way the DA's office would drop a complaint directly from the police!
I will ask Teresa's lawyer about the idea of trying to get the verdict vacated, but my hunch is that this approach will not be viable.
We will keep you all posted as this develops.
leslie & all --
Clearly, the iPNB should immediately fax a letter, on letterhead, to the Court saying that Theresa entered the station as the legal representative and
under instructions of the national board of the Pacifica Foundation, which
owns the license of the station, and that the verdict should be vacated.
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