The last four members of Adelphia Communications' board who were in place before the cable operator's bankruptcy filing last year are stepping down from their posts.

Leslie Gelber, Pete Metros, Dennis Coyle and Erland "Erkie" Kailbourne are the directors who will be vacating their positions.

In a press release Wednesday, Adelphia said "these four directors have played an instrumental role in positioning Adelphia for a successful reorganization," the company said.

"Beginning in May 2002, they took decisive action to secure the resignations of the Rigas management and to supervise and direct a comprehensive investigation of the wrongful acts that have caused substantial damage to Adelphia's stakeholders," the company continued. "Their stewardship of the business until new management could be appointed has helped to preserve value while maintaining quality service to our millions of customers."

Adelphia was run for half a century by the family of founder John J. Rigas and it declared bankruptcy last year after news of previously undisclosed debt sent its stock plummeting. Since then, Rigas and two of his sons have been charged with securities fraud.

The company has hired Spencer Stuart, an executive search firm, to help identify new independent director candidates. Adelphia named William T. Schleyer chairman and CEO in February.

In addition to Schleyer, the four independent directors appointed since the Chapter 11 filing are Rod Cornelius, Anthony T. Kronman, Philip R. Lochner Jr. and Susan Ness.

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