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Former APTV Chief Sues Over Termination

90.3 WBHM Current, which covers the public media industry, is reporting that attorneys for former Alabama Public Television executive director Allan Pizzato filed a civil suit against the Alabama Educational Television Commission. The commission unexpectedly fired Pizzato and another top executive on June 12. Click here for background on the firing.

The complaint (filed July 18) alleges:

  • Commissioners violated the state's Open Meetings Act by discussing Pizzato's job performance during a closed executive session.
  • AETC has not made available to Pizzato's attorneys audio recordings and other related materials from meetings at which Pizzato and the commissioners disagreed on airing religious programming and on the networks mission statement.
  • AETC chair Ferris Stephens is ineligible to serve in that capacity, citing a statute which states "no member of the commission shall hold any other office". (Stephens is an assistant attorney general.)

  • The lawsuit seeks to remove Stephens and void all decisions by the commission since his arrival in 2010. To read the entire complaint, click here.

    ~ July 19, 2012