Rachael Myrow is KQED's South Bay arts reporter, covering arts and culture in San Mateo, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz Counties. She also guest hosts for The California Report and Forum, files stories for NPR and hosts a podcast called Love in the Digital Age.
Her passion for public radio was born as an undergrad at the University of California at Berkeley, writing movie reviews for KALX-FM. After finishing one degree in English, she got another in journalism, landed a job at Marketplace in Los Angeles, and another at KPCC, before returning to the Bay Area to work at KQED.
She spent more than seven years hosting The California Report, and over the past 20 years has won a Peabody and three Edward R. Murrow Awards (one for covering the MTA Strike, her first assignment as a full-time reporter in 2000) as well as numerous other honors including from the Society of Professional Journalists, the Radio Television News Directors Association and the LA Press Club.
Dede Wilsey is a powerful fundraiser and donor on the San Francisco arts scene. But her 20-year tenure as president and four-year tenure as CEO of the board of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (FAMSF) — collectively known as the de Young Museum and the Legion of Honor — has been tumultuous.
And now it's over.
Wilsey announced her resignation as board chair of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, the San Francisco Chronicle reported on Sunday.
A long scandal
Wilsey's exit follows a $2 million settlement payout, the latest turn in a scandal that's been stewing since former chief financial officer Michele Gutierrez filed a lawsuit last fall. Gutierrez alleged Wilsey forced her out for blowing the whistle on the board chair's decision to spend nearly half a million dollars of the museum's money to help a former staffer.
At the time, Wilsey claimed she didn't need the board's approval to authorize a $450,000 loan to Bill Huggins, who retired while struggling with a heart condition. His wife, museum registrar Therese Chen, worked closely with Wilsey before going on leave to care for him. Huggins and Chen both died shortly after.
According to sources who prefer to remain unnamed, Wilsey initially tried to encourage fellow board members to help pay back the loan. But that back-fired. Four board members resigned, including former San Francisco city attorney Louise Renne and powerhouse philanthropist Bernard Osher. In April, FAMSF announced the $450,000 loan would be repaid by anonymous donors.
Then the state attorney general's office and city controller's offices launched investigations. In May, controller Ben Rosenfield told KQED his office moved up its periodic payroll audit to address growing interest in FAMSF management. Now Rosenfield says he expects to issue a report some time in the Read More ...