WAMC Northeast Pirate Network®/™HOME PAGE
RE: 'Surplus WAMC pledge $$$ lavished on exec salaries'

'P.S. Isn't it wonderful ....'

Read The Pirates' reply, Click Here!
To: WAMC Northeast Pirate Network - 
Just thought you should know that after reviewing your material, I have no problem with how WAMC-FM is run and how the people who run it are compensated.  The [IRS Form] 990 is as represented by Alan Chartock during the fund drives. 

I wonder what your beef is?  You seem to be on a personal vendetta of some kind for some reason you do not disclose.

The more we listeners contribute, the more we get -- or so it seems to me.  WAMC is the best public radio station in the country, also because of the community spirit generated by the fund drives.  This sense of having WAMC in common with so many people is priceless.

P.S.  Isn’t it wonderful that a bureaucracy like SUNY could make an exception to its [anti-moonlighting] policy in acknowledgment of the contribution of an outstanding public servant?

JOHN G. ROOT, Jr.  <johnroot@berkshire.net>
Wednesday, March 6, 2002

The WAMC Pirates reply:
Sorry Mr. Root, but we strongly disagree with you.  We do not recall (and neither can anyone with whom we confer) ever, ever hearing Alan S. Chartock or anyone else from WAMC-FM mention on-air the actual salaries paid to the station's senior management. 

If you can remember Mr. Chartock actually stating that he gets a six-figure compensation from the station, then we sure would like to know about it.  Please send an e-mail telling us approximately when it was you heard this factoid on-air. 

Nor have we heard anyone at WAMC-FM admit that the station annually grosses more than five million dollars a year. 

WAMC.org fails to post Form 990

Plus, it would seem logical to us that if indeed station officials were as forthcoming on-air about fiscal data as you imply, then there should be no reservation about posting the station's annual IRS Form 990 on the organization's official WAMC.org Web site.

But alas, it is not there for the public to view. (WAMC, Inc.'s IRS Form 990's can be viewed on The Pirates'  Web site at: http://www.wamc.net/homepage.html#9post.)

SUNY shenanigans

Also, in re: SUNY.  SUNY is not some small, private academy that can blithely hand out personal favors to faculty members deemed as good 'do-bees.' 

Rather, SUNY is an official arm of the State of New York.  As such, it is supported by more than a billion dollars annually of New York and federal taxpayer monies.  It is an entity employing literally thousands of teaching and administrative professionals. 

As with any state entity, it has official policies as well as extensive and complex collective bargaining agreements with its employee unions.  These policies and agreements cover most every aspect governing employment within the state university system. (The SUNY faculty's union contract can be viewed at the Web site of  United University Professions.)

'No' really means 'Yes,' right?

If there were an 'official' policy that allowed granting to a faculty employee an 'exception' or 'waiver' based on merit or similar circumstance, then you better believe that such a condition would be spelled out in detail within one or more of SUNY's written policies. 

Further, that condition would assumedly then be administered throughout the SUNY system in suitably equitable fashion to all faculty deemed worthy.

Similarly, in those instances when an official policy is written to specifically forbid or limit something such that the word 'No' is stipulated, then 'No' is supposed to mean 'No' -- period.  Would anyone seriously suggest it really means 'Yes'?  Of course not. 

Otherwise, what would be the point in officially prohibiting anything?  Why promulgate any policy if in context that which is stated is not what is truly intended? 

That being said, we refer you to former SUNY Provost Joseph C. Burke's official 1986 "Memorandum to Presidents" of all SUNY campuses (See: http://www.wamc.net/burke.html).  See specifically the highlighted material that begins with the phrase: "No full-time employee of the State University may assume another full-time position or obligation........"

The words seem pretty clear to us, especially the context of the word 'No'.  There does not appear to be equivocation in the meaning or intent. 

Provost Burke promulgated the policy in 1986 at a time when concerns about faculty moonlighting were being publicly raised statewide and throughout the SUNY system.  It was determined then that SUNY's official policies required clarification, hence the policy 'Memorandum'  issued by the University's Provost and distributed throughout the SUNY system. 

It is interesting to note that one caveat not granted in Provost Burke's anti-moonlighting policy is any exception or waiver based on merit. 

Thus, your contention, that it is somehow "wonderful that a bureaucracy like SUNY could make an exception to its policy in acknowledgment of the contribution of an outstanding public servant" is simply not consistent with SUNY's written anti-moonlighting policy nor with the University's extensive collective bargaining agreements. 

Chartock, the outstanding public servant?

For you to claim that SUNY's very special treatment of Mr. Chartock is an 'acknowledgment' of his theoretical 'contribution' as a public servant does a real disservice to public servants like police and firemen whom daily place their lives at risk, and for whom that privilege does not include tapping public coffers to take home multiple salaries totaling more than their state's chief executive. 

Mr. Chartock is plainly the beneficiary of some very special privileges not granted to other public servants or to other SUNY employees. 

It stinks

Therefore, we do not think SUNY's actions here are so wonderful at all. In fact, SUNY's behavior towards Mr. Chartock defies common sense as well as university policy.  Frankly, the whole thing stinks. 

The fact that a state bureaucracy has actually allowed this level of preferential treatment to exist for years and for the sole benefit of one individual is damning evidence that political favoritism, cronyism, and yes, even corruption must be alive and well within the hallowed corridors of SUNY. 

If you do not agree with the WAMC Pirates' interpretation of the "Burke Memorandum," we suggest you print it out (click here or on the link above) and show it to a lawyer whom you respect and trust.

Blaming the messenger

We do not make SUNY policy on this Web site.  We act solely as a reporter of fact, and in the role of messenger. 

If you feel the need to blame the messenger for reporting unflattering news about someone whom you plainly hold in high regard, then we suggest that investigative journalism and those who write it are definitely not your cup of tea.

Mr. Chartock is not the first to be accused of raiding the cookie jar at a publicly-funded  charitable institution.  William Aramony, the now-disgraced former chairman of the national charity organization United Way of America was sentenced to a stretch in a federal penitentiary for doing things not dissimilar to what Mr. Chartock has been doing for years at WAMC, Inc..

(Typing in Mr. Aramony's name into any Web search engine will reveal numerous articles relating to the man and his crimes. Also, see: 'William Aramony Is Back On The Streets,'  The NonProfit Times, March 1, 2002.)

The federal prosecution of Mr. Aramony underscores the notion that white-collar thieves who prey on a gullible public should be exposed for what they truly are. 

You and a lot of other obviously thoughtful people are plainly taken-in and wowed by Mr. Chartock's public persona, enough so that you give generously to the public, tax-exempt charity he operates and abuses. 

The Pirates are merely attempting to show that just as with Mr. Aramony at United Way, underneath the public persona of Mr. Chartock at WAMC, Inc., things are not necessarily what they appear to be. 

Stay tuned!

Also, see related article: UAlbany fails to enforce SUNY policy against Chartock for full-time 'moonlighting'

©2002 WAMC Northeast PirateNetwork®/™

©2002 WAMC Northeast Pirate Network®/™