AFTRA clears national board member of alleged wrongdoing
David Browde is in the clear -- at least as far as his union is concerned.
The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists said Wednesday that it had found no evidence that Browde, a national board member, had violated the union's rules.
AFTRA recently launched an investigation into Browde's conduct after several union members received anonymous e-mails alleging that Browde was the owner and editor of Sagwatch.net, a website that tracks issues of concern to actors who belong to AFTRA and its larger sister union, the Screen Actors Guild, with which it has clashed in the past.
The e-mail alleged that Browde, whose LinkedIn profile describes him as an attorney and correspondent at CBS News, served as editor and owner of the site and had violated the nondisparagement provisions between the unions in his involvement with Sagwatch. The site's authors have expressed support for merging the actors' unions and often criticized the group that staunchly supported the leadership of former SAG President Alan Rosenberg, a critic of AFTRA's.
But AFTRA said its investigation concluded that Browde did not act as editor or founder of the site, although the union did not dispute that he had registered the domain name for Sagwatch.net, which does not disclose the people who run the website and contribute posts.
"Based on the internal investigation -- which was conducted by outside counsel to AFTRA -- the review found no evidence suggesting any infractions took place,'' the union said in a statement. "This situation is a reminder that while allegations of misconduct are to be taken seriously, public accusations which call into question the credibility of an individual before a proper investigation can be conducted, risk compromising a member's right to due process and are to be avoided.''