James Brown estate bombshell in wake of South Carolina Supreme Court rejecting AG-brokered asset giveaway

It appears South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson has removed himself from a lawsuit against former trustees of the James Brown estate. This case just keeps getting lots of ridiculous, but unlikely accidental, twists and turns. And remember – these plot twists are likely at taxpayer expense although thanks to Wilson and his office – the office entrusted with enforcing South Carolina’s transparency and open government laws – Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests seeking to learn more about this questionable legal action have become legal actions themselves.

Also, it now appears the trust from which this band of seemingly bureaucratic thieves claims to derive its authorization may never have been signed. A detail that opens new issues on multiple fronts. A detail that might cause you to fight FOIAs?

Sue Summer lays it out:

Attorney General (AG) Alan Wilson has dropped out of a multi-million dollar lawsuit against former trustees of the James Brown estate—a lawsuit that may have been brought by a non-existent plaintiff with the complicity of former AG Henry McMaster and the continued support of current AG Wilson.

In a Richland County courtroom on March 18, Mark Gende of the Wingate law firm in Columbia told Judge Casey Manning that he no longer represented the AG in Richland 4900. “I represent all plaintiffs minus the AG,” he said.

The lawsuit was brought by the Wingate firm against former trustees, Adele Pope of Newberry and Bob Buchanan of Aiken. The plaintiffs alleged Pope and Buchanan had damaged the estate by tens of millions of dollars during their 18-month tenure as trustees.

Plaintiffs included the AG, Brown’s companion, claimed relatives, and Columbia CPA Russell Bauknight for the Legacy Trust.

In their counterclaims, Pope and Buchanan alleged that the lawsuit damaged their reputations and ability to practice law—and was intended to stop their appeal of a settlement deal forged by former AG McMaster. The Supreme Court has since overturned the McMaster deal as being “unjust” and “unreasonable.”

Read more.


James Brown Bombshell: AG Wilson Drops Out of Lawsuit Filed By Non-Existent ‘Legacy Trust’
Sue Summer
March 19, 2013

Check out the full article James Brown Bombshell: AG Wilson Drops Out of Lawsuit Filed By Non-Existent ‘Legacy Trust’ at Watchdog Wire.

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