Miles is in high dudgeon over ethical allegations lodged against him by Diane Goncalves, an assistant superintendent of the Region One School District. And he has reason to be concerned about the complaint she filed with the FCC. It’s pretty damning stuff that could threaten his license to broadcast from his lofty perch at what, with faux modesty, he calls “the smallest NPR station in the nation.” Indeed, this is the second alleged ethical breech at WHDD since December 2010, when the FCC forced the station to fork over $15,000 for running advertisements disguised as underwriting announcements.
You may recall that after hearing of this latest complaint, one of the first things Salisbury resident Miles did was show up at a school board meeting earlier this month. He did not attempt to defend himself against the charge of endorsing specific candidates for office — a clear violation of FCC regulations — but he immediately attacked Goncalves and demanded to know whether she had written the complaint on school district time and whether the complaint originated from the board and the administration (it was signed only by Goncalves).
We still haven’t seen Miles’ official response to the FCC about the Goncalves complaint, but he has turned up the pressure on the Region One board. My friend Mike Flint, who is the alternate Salisbury representative to the board, has unearthed a threatening email Miles sent to William “Scooter” Tedder, the Salisbury Region One rep, and copied to the rest of the board.
In the email, Miles reiterates a question he acknowledges has already been answered: “did the board give Diane permission to represent them in her personal complaint?” Board Chairman Phil Hart has essentially said no to that question in an open meeting.
Lastly, he wants to know: “did Patricia Chamberlain, Superintendent, authorize or have knowledge on [sic] Diane’s complaint?” Hmmm … Would it be improper if Goncalves’ boss was aware that she was filing a complaint that Goncalves was legally entitled to file? Then Miles explicitly threatens legal action:
There are some very serious possible repercussions for every member of the Board, Patricia and Diane who are involved in this matter. Once my questions are answered by the board and Patricia, I will then proceed with appropriate action. It could range from a minor request, or, possible legal action either against the entire board, Diane, or the entire board, Patricia and Diane.
On what possible grounds could Miles take “legal action?” With the possible exception of Chamberlain’s prior knowledge of Goncalves complaint, the board will answer no to his questions. Then what? Will Miles sue the board because one of its employees has made his life miserable through a public complaint process that is open to all?
If the ethically challenged Miles files a frivolous lawsuit that costs thousands of taxpayer dollars to defend, then he will lose any credibility he has. Donor wallets will then close up. Heck, he might even lose the dog people.