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SAG again votes to oust Allen as executive director

February 09, 2009|Richard Verrier

Think of it as a repeat of the swearing-in of President Obama, "an excess of prudence."

The Screen Actors Guild board on Sunday voted for a second time to oust former Executive Director Doug Allen and replace the union's negotiating committee with a newly appointed task force dominated by moderates.

The move was widely anticipated, given that the board had previously taken such a vote last month by means of a "written assent." That action, however, was challenged in a lawsuit filed last week by SAG President Alan Rosenberg and three other directors.

By taking a vote again, but this time at a meeting, the majority hoped to thwart Rosenberg's claim that the previous vote failed to follow procedure.

Rosenberg has been a staunch ally of Allen's and had refused to accept the board's appointment of David White as interim executive director and John McGuire as SAG's new chief negotiator.

Last week, a judge denied a request for a temporary restraining order, saying the board acted within its rights.

Sunday's vote -- supported by 59% of the 71-member board -- delivers a further blow to Rosenberg's lawsuit, which had argued that the previous vote was invalid in part because the board did not meet in a regular session and some board members did not have an opportunity to debate the matter.

The suit had threatened to delay a resumption in long-stalled contract negotiations with the studios. Talks are expected to resume Feb. 17.


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