The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law requested on behalf of its clients Tuesday that the Board of Governors seek to recover the $74,999 paid to the North Carolina Division Sons of Confederate Veterans Inc. in an earlier settlement.
This civil rights group represented the group of UNC students and faculty when they motioned to intervene in the Silent Sam suit between the BOG and the SCV.
The BOG settled with the SCV for $74,999 on Nov. 21, 2019, saying the SCV would limit its activities on UNC System campuses. The settlement did not mention Silent Sam, but The Daily Tar Heel later reported that the SCV gave the funds to the United Daughters of the Confederacy North Carolina Division Inc. which enabled the SCV to sue for possession of the monument on Nov. 27.
On Nov. 27, 2019, the SCV settled with the BOG and received possession of Silent Sam and a $2.5 million trust for its protection. On Dec. 12, Judge Allen Baddour dismissed the lawsuit and vacated the judgement.
The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law sent separate letters dated Feb. 18, and signed by Elizabeth Haddix and Mark Dorosin, to the following parties:
- North Carolina UDC President Sara Powell and Registered Agent Thomas Drake
- Ripley Rand, attorney for the UNC System and BOG in its settlement with the SCV
- Boyd Sturges, attorney for the SCV
- John Narron, attorney for Matthew McGonagle, the trustee in the $2.5 million trust agreement.
Among other requests, the letters asked that the BOG recover both the full $2.5 million of the trust agreement and the $74,999 from the previous settlement.
N.C. United Daughters of the Confederacy Letter
The letter sent to the UDC asked the group to return the $74,999 it received from the SCV.
“We are writing to request that your organization return to the University of North Carolina the $74,999 it reportedly received in exchange for assignment of its non-existent interest in the Confederate monument known as ‘Silent Sam’ to the Sons of Confederate Veterans," the letter said.
UNC System Board of Governors Letter
The Committee also sent a letter to Ripley Rand, who served as counsel for the BOG. The Committee said Rand’s clients believe North Carolina statute 100-2.1 requires Silent Sam be returned to campus or a “site of similar prominence.” The letter said the Committee does not believe the law applies to the monument, and requested to meet with Rand to “share our reasoning and discuss potential solutions.”
The letter also requested that the University and the BOG seek to recover the $74,999 paid to the SCV.
“Information released to the public indicates that 1) the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) received that payment in exchange for assigning its non-existent interest in the Monument to SCV, and 2) SCV members had not previously been on campus with their flags or otherwise demonstrated on campus,” the letter to Rand said.
The letter said this suggested that the payment violated the North Carolina constitution and requested immediate action to recover the $2.5 million in trust assets, as well as the $74,999.
“Finally, your letter filed with the court yesterday does not indicate when the accounting by affidavit of all expenditures from the void trust will be provided,” the letter to Rand said. “Please advise us of that as well. We expected it to be filed yesterday, in light of Judge Baddour’s request at the hearing.”
N.C. Sons of Confederate Veterans Letter
The Committee wrote to Boyd Sturges, who served as counsel for the SCV, requesting that the SCV return the monument and the $2.5 million to the University, as well as provide a copy of the "affidavit accounting for all expenditures from the void trust" that Baddour requested.
The letter requested that they confirm by March 2 that they returned the $52,000 they received from the void monument trust and had “taken whatever steps necessary to ensure return of the $74,999 to the University.”
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
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