St. Joe's society meets amid board turmoil - WDRB 41 Louisville News

St. Joe's society meets amid board turmoil

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The St. Joseph Catholic Orphan Society voted overwhelmingly Wednesday night to approve resolutions installing a new board, the board chairman said.

Thurman Senn, speaking to reporters who were barred from the special meeting of the society, said 224 members voted for the resolutions, 5 opposed and 2 abstained. 

The resolutions ratified actions taken earlier this year that ushered out the 1,400-member society's longstanding board. 

Senn, who is a defendant in a Jefferson Circuit Court lawsuit over who controls the board, said his attorneys will file a motion to dismiss the case in the coming weeks. 

"It is my fervent hope that the people who are suing will decide it is not in the best interest of the children to keep fighting in the courts," Senn said. 

William Walsh, an attorney for the defendants, could not immediately reached for comment. He had previously said his clients weren't planning to attend, saying they questioned the meeting's legitimacy. 

The meeting was the first of the society since a dispute in February changed the makeup of the board and led to a lawsuit.

Earlier this week, a Jefferson Circuit Court judge denied a request by the plaintiffs in the suit -- a group that includes the board members ousted in February -- to cancel the meeting.

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."

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