Excessive compensation paid to executives at the San Francisco-based California Emerging Technology Fund (CETF) sparked an outcry as well as accusations of cronyism and mismanagement.
“At a time when folks across California are struggling to make ends meet, I think CEO Sunne Wright McPeak annual salary of $350,000.00 sends a terrible message,” a source seeking anonymity stated.
“There is a certain level of disconnect and attitude of business as usual on the part of CETF directors Michael Peevey, Martha Escutia, Jeff Campbell, and Sam Overton to authorize such salary for the CEO of an entity which, for the most part, absorbs questionable money from utility companies to only forward the money to the same old familiar entities say, for example, the Sacramento Asian Chamber of Commerce and Little Tokyo Service Center,” the source continued.
According to its web site, the California Emerging Technology Fund (“CETF”) has been established as a non-profit corporation pursuant to orders from the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) in approving the mergers of SBC-AT&T and Verizon-MCI in 2005. As a condition of approval of the mergers, AT&T and Verizon are required to contribute to CETF a total of $60 million over 5 years for the purpose of achieving ubiquitous access to broadband and advanced services in California, particularly in underserved communities, through the use of emerging technologies by 2010. AT&T will contribute $9 million per year and Verizon will contribute $3 million per year. The CPUC also directed that at least $5 million should be used for telemedicine projects.
“With all due respect, as someone who lives in Sacramento region and who is ubiquitously disastisfied with AT&T U-Verse, I wonder how my access to broadband differs from that of Asian-Americans who live in the region to justify the movments of money from CETF to the Sacramento Asian Chamber of Commerce,” the source concluded.
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