Wednesday, April 16 2014 10:54 PM EDT2014-04-17 02:54:16 GMT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A group whose members claim they were ousted illegally from the St. Joseph Catholic Orphan Society's board of trustees wants a judge to cancel a special meeting of the 1,400-person organization planned for next week.
The motion filed Tuesday asks Jefferson Circuit Judge Brian C. Edwards to prohibit the society's acting board from holding a Nov. 20 meeting until the lawsuit over who controls the society is resolved.
A hearing was scheduled for Thursday in Jefferson Circuit Court.
The request for an injunction comes days after the Kentucky Court of Appeals refused to dismiss the lawsuit, determining that the case hinges on whether the organization's bylaws were followed and not religious issues.
A group acting as the board of the orphan society asked the court to review an earlier decision by Edwards, who had denied their motion to dismiss the lawsuit. That group had argued for dismissal because the dispute involved a Catholic religious organization affiliated with the Archdiocese of Louisville.
But the appeals court ruled the case does not "involve an ecclesiastical question."
"The question presented is whether the removal of the Board as stewards of the Society's property was authorized and in accordance with the bylaws. While the bylaws must be in keeping with the teachings and beliefs of the Catholic Church, the bylaws themselves are not religious in nature and are capable of neutral interpretation," the appeals court judges wrote in their opinion.
The Nov. 20 meeting is supposed to include a vote on the resolutions that were passed on Feb. 6 that ushered in a new board.
The eight people claiming to be rightful members of the board say they were wrongfully removed from their positions during the February meeting and their rights will "continue to be violated" if the meeting is not stopped.
The saga has led to divisions among members of the society.
"This is just wearing us all out," said Pamela Cotton, St. Joseph's executive director. "The current board wants to put this to a vote and settle it once and for all."
William Walsh, an attorney for the ousted board members, has said his clients don't think the current board would be calling a special meeting if the "Feb. 6 takeover had been done properly" and added that his clients want a chance to defend themselves and have charges against them submitted in writing, according to the bylaws in place prior to February.
A representative for Louisville Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz plans to attend next week's meeting, but not vote, according to Cecelia Price, spokeswoman for the Archdiocese of Louisville.
The makeup of the board had been in flux since August 2012, when the trustees didn't get enough votes to remove a board member accused of sexually harassing staff members. At least a dozen board members resigned in the wake of that vote.
WDRB.com reported last month that an independent consultant had recommended that the board ask for the trustee, Earl Hartlage, to resign in 2008 because of a harassment allegation.
Hartlage, a former Jefferson County commissioner, remained on the board. He has called the allegations against him "untrue" and "baseless."
Tuesday, April 15 2014 4:22 PM EDT2014-04-15 20:22:22 GMT
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear said Tuesday he believes the Legislative Ethics Commission should re-open the inquiry into alleged ethics violations against former state Rep. JohnMore >>
Governor says ethics commission members should be present and reconsider action on Democratic state lawmaker accused of sexually harassing staffers.More >>
Friday, April 4 2014 6:19 PM EDT2014-04-04 22:19:31 GMT
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – A group of eastern Jefferson County residents are suing Louisville Metro government and several developers, arguing that the city planning commission's approval of a FedEx distributionMore >>
Residents are asking for recent planning commission decisions, including a proposed FedEx distribution center, to be ruled "null and void."More >>
Sunday, March 30 2014 6:00 AM EDT2014-03-30 10:00:07 GMT
Leaders say the project will help revitalize western Louisville. But Walmart's agreement with the city fails to answer key questions about the types of jobs that will be created and how hiring goals will be measured.More >>
Leaders say the project will help revitalize western Louisville. But Wal-Mart's agreement with the city fails to answer key questions about the types of jobs that will be created and how hiring goals will be measured. More >>
Tuesday, March 25 2014 9:51 PM EDT2014-03-26 01:51:17 GMT
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A Franklin Circuit court judge has ruled that the developers of the Bluegrass Pipeline cannot use eminent domain to secure private land to build the pipeline. Developers hadMore >>
A Franklin Circuit court judge ruled that the developers of the natural gas liquids pipeline cannot condemn land to secure easements for the project. More >>