March 8, 2004
Dear Tom, Lil, Jim, Jean-Paul,
Kathleen, Phred, Ben, Debbie, Anne, Jim, Dave, Tom and Juan:
Your attorney Gary Wolf
has informed me that he filed a complaint with the bar association alleging an ethical violation on my part. I do not know
the contents of his complaint because he refuses to send me a copy. Following are a few matters that I would like to make
clear to you as a board member and to your attorneys. If the bar association chooses to have me respond to his or their complaint,
my response will be public. When I receive the complaint it will be public. There will be nothing private about any bar proceeding
that results from his actions.
Your attorneys' complaints
are baseless and malicious. I invite Gary Wolf, Kathleen Williamson and Bradley Miller to publicly state, specifically, how
I have violated any ethical rule. They have slandered me to you. They have told you that I have violated ethical rules. They
have said I have acted "inappropriately". My challenge to them is to spell it out.
They, of course, will
not because their presumed cloak of secrecy of the bar association is the refuge of the scoundrel. They will solemly nod their
thoughtful heads and with a serious expression proclaim that their complaints are "out of their hands" as if they can wash
their malice from their hands.
Last Wednesday, March
3, I was one of four members of the Democracy Initiative selected to meet station manager Larry Bruce and two representatives
of your board. At the beginning of the meeting Mr. Wolf stated he had "been asked by the KXCI Board" to request that I not
attend the meeting because the Board had "expressed concerns over conflict of interest issues." When I did not comply with
his request "on behalf of the Board" he then telephoned Mary J. Foster, Chair of the Committee on Rules of Professional Conduct
of the State Bar of Arizona.
After explaining the
situation to Ms. Foster the following exchange took place:
I'm not sure why you think it's an ethics issue as
opposed to a-ah, what's the ethical issue you have?
Well, the ethical issue is ah, the attorney who is here associated with the
Democracy Initiative has an adversarial relationship
with the KXCI
Board at this moment...
As you can see, I am
not the only one who fails to see the ethical issue. The real issue seems to be my "adversarial relationship" with the KXCI
Board. Adversarial relationship simply means you think that an appointed board of directors where you get to select new board
members is a good idea and I and others think that the members should elect directors. Your group wants self perpetuating
control. I want all KXCI members to exercise control through an elected majority. How can that be translated into an ethical
issue to be resolved by the State Bar of Arizona? The answer is obvious in that it is not an ethical issue no matter how hard
your malicious team of licensed lawyers try.
Mr. Wolf says in his
March 4, 2004 letter to me that "KXCI feels betrayed" by my actions. As
board members, please tell me why you feel "betrayed" or if the board cannot speak for itself, authorize your agent to tell
me why. I am willing to reciprocate and tell you why you have betrayed KXCI.
Mr. Wolf says "we have
been moving forward" in his continued investigation of my alleged "on-going" breach of "fiduciary duty and confidentiality
as a former Board member of KXCI". This is a topic where I need the help of each of you. I do not want to inadvertently reveal
any confidentialities or breach any "on-going fiduciary duties" resulting from my service on your board twelve years or so
ago. It seems, however, that I am not smart enough to do so and that is why I will need your help. Since, as Mr. Wolf has
stated, your board of directors "feels violated and betrayed" by my actions you obviously have very specific facts known to
you that you could share with me. Such strong emotions must be based upon known facts.
I recall from my elected
service on behalf of KXCI members that the meetings of the Board of Directors were open to the public who were invited to
not only attend but speak. I am having a hard time recalling "confidentialities". I have not silently sat back, however. I
have exercised due diligence and have talked with several other ex-board members to obtain their help in remembering confidentialities.
Unfortunately, they could not recall any either.
Together with your crack
team of licensed lawyer bullies you surely should be able to help me out by identifying on-going fiduciary duties that I either
have breached or might do so in the future. Perhaps Mr. Wolfs investigation has moved forward enough to share its fruits.
We know that this board violated my right to the membership list. But, that cannot be it since I was the victim and you were
the violators. This board has spent members' money investigating me, but, again that cannot be it. This board has purchased
advertising to defeat a member initiative but, of course, your repeated violations of your fiduciary duties cannot be attributed
to me. Frankly, I am simply at a loss. But with the assistance of Gary Wolf and his chorus perhaps you can come up with something
that can be of assistance to me in avoiding an inadvertent disclosure of old board secrets.
On the other hand, it
is quite obvious that his latest threat on behalf of "we" and "the board" is simply a continuance of the irresponsible bullying
tactics taken by this board since the Democracy Initiative started. All of this may be normal business practice for you or
him, but is truly astonishing to me. I have witnessed more slimy personal attacks in our simple by-laws change initiative
than in any political fight I have been in over the last quarter-of-a-century. And to have your attorneys lecture me on ethics
and fiduciary duties truly takes the cake.
I await the details.
Yours Very Truly,
William J. Risner, Esq.