11/04/98 -- Election Repudiates D.C. Judge

WASHINGTON, D.C., November 4 -- The president of the Confederate Memorial Association was re-elected at the annual meeting of the board of trustees at the National Press Club. John Edward Hurley's victory was seen as a repudiation of D.C. Superior Court Judge John H. Bayly, Jr.

Hurley said that he believed that his victory was the first instance in association management history that a president was re-elected by directors who had their personal assets directly threatened by the Court.

Judge Bayly had ordered the appointment of five members of the association's board and had permitted the consolidation of a ten-year lawsuit against Hurley, which added as defendants those directors who had supported Hurley. This consolidation meant that Hurley supporters were individually sued.

Judge Bayly also permitted counsel for the plaintiffs to drop the lawsuit against the Hurley supporters if they would give their proxies to the plaintiffs. Moreover, this was accompanied by a $53,000 request for sanctions for Hurley's alleged contempt, an action that made the Hurley supporters liable for this expense. Hurley had previously been jailed by Judge Bayly after Hurley claimed that $30,000 in lawyer's bills submitted for him to pay were fraudulent. Nearly $23,000 of this assessment was returned to him without explanation.

Hurley said that Judge Bayly had frozen the funds of the organization at an October 13, 1998 hearing, but the tape of the hearing had been "conveniently lost." Judge Bayly has indicated that he will be appointing a receiver for the organization. Hurley said that the suggested receiver is friendly to both the judge and the plaintiffs.

The century-old Civil War museum that the association had been operating in downtown Washington was closed last year because of legal expenses the organization had incurred. The Rutherford Institute, who paid the lawyers for Paula Jones, is one of the organizations that has been paying the legal fees for the plaintiffs.

The vote in favor of Hurley was nine to seven. One of the board members who continued to support Hurley despite being sued was 88-year-old senior White House correspondent Sarah McClendon, who was served with the complaint while in her room at the Veterans Administration Hospital complex.