Judge orders LCHS to pay fees

By: 
Wade Young

Le Sueur County Judge Mark Vandelist sent a strong message to the Le Sueur County Historical Society (LCHS) and its membership on January 3 when he rejected the society’s request to split the fees for the retired judge overseeing the case.

Vandelist stated the disputes within the organization are only hurting it, and if the membership and Board of Directors want to deplete the society’s resources by continuing their contentious disputes, there is little doubt their actions may have an adverse financial effect.

“If the parties continue these contentious discovery disputes, including being unable to agree on how to move forward, then it is their choice to ‘burn down’ the organization, in order to save it. From this Court’s vantage point, it is both the membership and the Board of Directors that are at fault in these contentious discovery disputes,” Vandelist wrote.

He said the dispute, in its simplest form, was between the society’s board of directors and the society’s members, who seek financial records, membership lists and a fair election. However, after court-ordered binding arbitration to determine membership did not occur, Vandelist ordered a special master to decide items to avoid lengthy court dates.

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