Updated: Sun, 20 Apr 2014 07:58:24 GMT | By The Malaysian Insider : Malaysia

American cable TV exec fired over MH370 aid drive, says report

A senior executive with an American cable broadcasting company had been fired for using her company email account to source for aid for the families of passengers aboard missing flight MH370, Associated Press (AP) reported today. The report said Fox Cable Networks Group standards and practises vice-president Darlene Tipton had wanted to...


Malaysia Insider

A senior executive with an American cable broadcasting company had been fired for using her company email account to source for aid for the families of passengers aboard missing flight MH370, Associated Press (AP) reported today.

The report said Fox Cable Networks Group standards and practises vice-president Darlene Tipton had wanted to arrange financial help to the families as a means to spare them the court process, which can take a long time.

She began the process by emailing Sarah Bajc, the girlfriend of American Philip Wood, one of the 239 people on the ill-fated Malaysia Airlines flight which disappeared on March 8 en route to Beijing, China.

Fox spokesperson Scott Grogin told AP that Tipton's "conduct and communications" violated the company's policy. He declined to discuss details due to privacy concerns but confirmed that Tipton, who had been with Fox for 25 years, had left the company on April 9.

"As soon as we became aware, we took appropriate steps," he was quoted as saying. Despite the latest development, Tipton said she planned to continue with her plan and will utilise crowdsourcing website GoFundMe to continue with her plans to solicit contributions on behalf of the families.

"We want to raise money for families, to give them immediate relief. Otherwise, they could be in court for years," she told AP during a phone interview from her Los Angeles home.

Her initiative comes with a condition though, that the recipients must forgo the right to seek legal aid.

"If they're getting money through contributions, it isn't right for them to seek money through legal channels, too," she was further quoted as saying.

Tipton’s husband, writer and producer Ken Tipton said she planned to sue Fox for wrongful dismissal.

He also said she decided to embark on the initiative after he had hallucinations of being with the jetliner's passengers during a hospital stay in Los Angeles last month, not long after the Boeing 777-200ER disappeared off radar.

The power of his visions, he said, propelled them to try and help the families.

"She wanted to do it because it could be done, so why not try?" he was quoted as saying.

Despite a multination search across the Indian Ocean, traces of the plane have not been found.

Acting Transport Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein had said all efforts related to the underwater search of MH370 will be intensified in the next few days, adding that search operations for the craft had entered a critical juncture.

“The JACC has narrowed the search area and it’s imperative that we focus on this now. Today and tomorrow are imperative to narrow down the search grid and regroup including looking at the existing data again.

“We may need to review the satellite data provided by Inmarsat. Whatever the outcome of the search, we will decide on whether we need to regroup and re approach on the data and method used," he said at a press conference yesterday. – April 20, 2014.

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