By Lucas Grindley
Originally published on Advocate.com June 23 2011 10:20 AM ET
The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation announced today that Troup Coronado, a board member with close ties to AT&T, has resigned and that the group was moving on with a search for a new president.
GLAAD’s board also formally accepted the resignation of Jarrett Barrios, its president who led the organization possibly into a conflict of interest but definitely into a mire of controversy. GLAAD distributed excerpts from an email that Barrios sent the board June 18.
"None of you have asked me to resign, and I have appreciated such confidence in me,” Barrios claimed in the email. He described the ordeal that led to his downfall as inspired by “inaccurate but effective characterizations” of his decision to send a letter to the Federal Communications Commission backing a proposed merger between AT&T and T-Mobile. GLAAD had received a $50,000 donation from AT&T.
“As many of you have observed to me, this entire situation is wrought with miscommunication and assumptions. Be that as it may, I respect the function and responsibility of my position, and know this is the right course of action,” Barrios wrote.
Seven members of the board followed Barrios’s resignation with their own earlier this week, without offering an explanation. Coronado’s resignation was described in a release as voluntary, with the former AT&T vice president saying he wanted “"to do what was in the best interest of GLAAD.”
More than 20 members of the board remain. And a news release on their behalf had nothing but nice things to say about Barrios, the outgoing leader whom they now are seeking to replace.
"While media often focus on GLAAD's high-profile efforts, it is GLAAD's work on the ground and behind-the-scenes that is needed today more than ever," said Mike Thompson, GLAAD's new acting president, in a statement. "GLAAD's strong track record and ability to move our culture is a result of Jarrett's and the staff's commitment and leadership, and that staff commitment will continue as we move forward."