Monday, April 28, 2008
The New York Times reports that the board of the American Civil Liberties Union voted overwhelmingly over the weekend to take over the management and operations of its South Carolina affiliate. The decision apparently grew out of a decade of troubles at the affiliate, including financial difficulties, an empty executive director position, a divided board, and embezzlement by the last executive director. The affiliate's board president and others asserted, however, that the take over instead reflected retaliation for the affiliate's private and public criticism of the national organization given that other affiliates with similar problems have not faced such an action.
Pursuant to the ACLU's internal guidelines, its board president will appoint a receiver to develop a plan to reconstitute the affiliate, including hiring new leadership, finding new board members, and taking control of its assets. The receiver may be a committee or an individual. According to the ACLU's vice president, this is the first time that the ACLU will have a contested receivership. Previous receiverships involved affiliates in Texas and Mississippi that voluntarily agreed to the process.