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January 12, 2004
Mr. Michael Kronley
Vice President and General Manager
P.O. Box 2
Tulsa, OK 74101-0002
Via First-Class Mail and Facsimilie: 918-748-1476
Dear Mr. Kronley:
I am writing on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), an international animal rights organization with more than 750,000 members and supporters, with regard to five recent e-mail messages transmitted by Steve Myers, an employee of KJRH, Channel 2, in Tulsa, Okla., to PETA and members of the public, in which Mr. Myers defames and threatens PETA and its employees. At least two of the five e-mail messages were transmitted from Mr. Myers' work e-mail address: [email protected]. Copies of the e-mail messages are attached for your reference.
Mr. Myers' correspondence is not merely unprofessional, but presents several bases for legal action by PETA and identified employees of PETA. For example, Mr. Myers asserts that PETA has fabricated evidence in a recent investigation of the Amarillo Wildlife Refuge (AWR) in Amarillo, Texas. This assertion, in addition to others, is false and thus libelous and can be proved to be so in a court of law. Please note that Mr. Myers also indicates that he is abusing his position in the media to "get the word out to boycott" PETA and that PETA should not expect "coverage int eh [sic] future from Amarillo or Tulsa." Other threats are present in Mr. Myers' correspondence as well. We are certain that the management of KJRH would not approve of an employee's use of his position or of company property to attempt to manipulate the media or to engage in other conduct that could result in legal action. We request that you take all steps necessary to ensure that Mr. Myers ceases these activities immediately.
Mr. Myers' tirades have been prompted by a recent PETA investigation that uncovered horrific neglect of animals, as well as apparent financial mismanagement, at the AWR, a facility with which Mr. Myers is associated. The PETA investigation resulted in the submission of formal complaints to the United States Department of Agriculture (which administers the federal Animal Welfare Act) and the Texas Attorney General (who governs the formation and conduct of Texas nonprofit corporations). Several state and federal agencies are conducting investigations of the AWR and its owner, Carmel Azzopardi, as a result of PETA's complaints. (A complete report on the PETA investigation is available at http://features.peta.org/AmarilloWildlifeRefuge/default.asp.)
PETA regrets that we must involve KJRH in this matter, but the actions of your employee, on what appears to be company time with the use of company property, are serious and require immediate rectification.
Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter. I can be reached at 757-622-7382, extension 1646.
Research & Investigations Dept.