After an investigation of a charity for multiple sclerosis
research, the state attorney general has filed a lawsuit accusing six of the
charity's officers of mismanaging more than $1 million of its assets.
Attorney Ron Sommers, appointed receiver to check the
charity's finances, filed the lawsuit Wednesday saying officers of Action for
Research into Multiple Sclerosis of America had granted only $75,000 to research
while an average of $1,870 per day had been spent on administrative expenses.
``By March 1986, only $100,000 remained of the $1.2 million
ARMS had received,'' Sommers stated.
ARMS was initially funded with more than $1 million raised
from a 1983 concert tour partly organized by former ARMS officer and singer
Ronnie Lane, who now lives in Austin and is diagnosed to have multiple
The lawsuit names Lane, former ARMS Director Mae Nacol and
former officers Barbara Leigh Hunt, Stanley Jacubowski, Dr. Jennis Tucker and
The plaintiffs include Phillip James, a former ARMS board
member who tipped investigators to possible wrongdoing.
The lawsuit said Nacol, an attorney and ARMS director from
Sept. 20, 1984, to Nov. 6, 1985, received at least $236,833 for salary, legal
retainers, reimbursements and purchase of a 1972 Lincoln limousine.
Neither her salary nor other reimbursements and receipts were
authorized by the ARMS directors, the lawsuit said.
Hunt, ARMS president from Sept. 20, 1984, until her
termination last December, received at least $86,433 during that time, including
salary, purchase of a Jeep Wagoneer and non-authorized reimbursements.
Kent, ARMS vice president and executive committee member from
Sept. 21, 1984, through July 2, received at least $26,795 in salary and $925 in
expense reimbursements, the lawsuit said.
Lane, an ARMS director from Sept. 24, 1984, through Dec. 30,
1985, received $5,000 in consulting fees, $4,278 in rents, $3,018 for personal
expenses and $2,000 worth of unidentified disbursements.
The lawsuit accused the defendants of fraud and self-dealing
and requested the court impose a trust upon any assets Nacol, Hunt, Kent and
Lane possess as a result of their transactions with ARMS.
The lawsuit also requests that the charitable assets wasted
must be returned and damages assessed for the harm suffered.''
However, Nacol has filed an intervenor lawsuit questioning the
attorney general's authority to have ARMS placed under receivership.
A hearing on her lawsuit is scheduled for 11 a.m. May 19
before state District Judge Louis Moore.