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SCLC Chapter Leaders Sue to Stop Rogue National Officers from Doing Improper

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Message Kimberly Jones

Atlanta, GA (July 17, 2012).   A civil action law suit has been filed in the Superior Court of Fulton County (No. 2012CV217900) seeking to bar the Southern Christian Leadership Conference [SCLC] from conducting any official business at an annual meeting on July 19, 2012.   

Plaintiffs for this law suit include a mix of national SCLC officers including President-Founder of SCLC Southwest Georgia Chapter Elijah Tuff ;   African Affairs Committee Chair SCLC Washington County Georgia Chapter Larry Lewis ;   Founder-President of SCLC Clark/Athens County Georgia Chapter Reverend Keith Johnson ;   Founder-President of SCLC Henry County Georgia Chapter Trina Baynes ; President of SCLC Washington, DC Chapter  Keith Silver ; President of SCLC Tallahassee   (FL) Chapter  Reverend Joseph Wright ;   President of SCLC Michigan State Unit Michael Grace;   and   Vice President of SCLC Michigan State Unit Barry Gray. "This law suit by SCLC chapter leaders and members is to simply stop rogue national officers from habitually and persistently violating Georgia law and for them to abide by regulations spelled out in Georgia statutes and in the SCLC Constitution and By-Laws.," said Trina Baynes.

The law suit points out that the annual meeting of the SCLC was unlawfully changed from August, 2012 in Atlanta, GA to July 19 th in Sanford, FL.   The suit alleges that Georgia law was broken by the change in dates being made without proper notice.   It also claims that any change in the convention date from August 2012 is not allowed by the SCLC Constitution and By-Laws.    Furthermore, the law suit alleges that some of the people who acted as Board Members during the commission of these unlawful SCLC acts were not in fact Board Member because their terms have expired.  

The law suit also alleges that in March 2012 Isaac Newton Farris, Jr. was unlawfully dismissed as the President and CEO of SCLC.   Mr. Farris was properly elected to this position at the August 15, 2011 National SCLC meeting.   The suit claims that Mr. Farris' removal was done in violation of Georgia law and SCLC rules.   The meeting when Mr. Farris was removed was an impromptu telephone conference call, where again all SCLC Board Members were not give proper notice.

Plaintiffs in this civil suit seek a judicial injunction on the ability of the SCLC to conduct any official business at the scheduled July 19, 2012 SCLC meeting and a declaratory order recognizing Isaac Newton Farris Jr. as the rightful President and CEO of SCLC.

"We want to see the SCLC alive and well.   Given the current temperature in this nation regarding civil and human rights, there is huge roll for the SCLC to play.   However, all organization must follow the law.   The "loosey-goosey" way that the SCLC has been handling its business has been destructive to the organization.   Laws and rules exist for proper checks and balances that ultimately help an organization," said Dr. Rod Edmond, managing partner of Edmond & Lindsay, attorneys for the SCLC chapter members.


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