SAG charges violate law, sez attorney

Free speech rights violated, attorney claims

An attorney for three SAG members facing discipline on alleged confidentiality violations has urged SAG’s leaders to drop the charges, claiming the board risks violating free-speech guarantees if it proceeds.

Hanan B. Kolko, writing on behalf of Paul Reggio, Diane McBain and Mary McDonald-Lewis, said in a letter to the Screen Actors Guild board, “You have the power to send a message to the entire SAG membership that SAG is a democratic union where members may freely speak their minds.”

Kolko warned that federal law prohibits labor organizations from disciplining members for exercising the right to “express any views, arguments or opinions.” He also told the board that proceeding with the disciplinary process would violate federal law by alleged selective enforcement of confidentiality rules.

SAG’s board voted last week to begin disciplinary proceedings against the trio for alleged disclosure of confidential information about the guild’s internal operations (Daily Variety, April 24). McBain and McDonald-Lewis are board members, while Reggio was a New York leader of last year’s strike against advertisers.

SAG spokesman Greg Krizman said the guild could not comment on the matter.

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