Last month, Asheville City Council’s Boards and Commission Committees sent a letter to the URTV director and board dhair with a 14-point list of its impressions of the problems within the public-access station and asking URTV to “right its own ship.”
On Aug. 5, attorney Michelle Rippon, whose law firm Van Winkle represents URTV, responded with a letter asking the committee for facts to back up its concerns, saying the purported problems the product of “efforts to discredit the organization.”
“I should add that I have reviewed numerous emails containing allegations against individuals associated with UTRV which could be related to your concerns, but are for the most part unsubstantiated or illusory and could easily support claims for defamation,” the letter reads.
As evidence, Rippon attached an e-mail allegedly sent that same day to URTV Operations Manager Jonathon Czarny by retired private investigator Alan Rosenthal, who has leveled accusations at members of the URTV board and several producers.
In the e-mail, in which Rosenthal asks Czarny to “keep this to yourself,” Rosenthal indicates that he has checked Czarny’s criminal record (where he found “nothing of concern to anyone”) and has researched Czarny’s activities at UNCA (“No one has anything negative to say about you over there”), and says that “were it not for the company you keep … I would be a fan.”
“I think you are destroying your career at URTV,” Rosenthal states in the e-mail.
In related URTV news, Asheville City Council on Aug. 11 is once again scheduled to appoint a new member to the URTV board. In early July, Council was poised to appoint producer Dale Joyner but delayed the vote to address the drama within the organization.
— Brian Postelle, staff writer