COLUMBIA, Mo. - Members of the East Campus Neighborhood Association filed a lawsuit on Sunday to settle a dispute over an alleged secret settlement fund.
The alleged fund was created in 2011 when Janet Hammen, president of the neighborhood association, agreed to support the construction of a fraternity house near the neighborhood.
The association has been in a disagreement for almost a year because some members believe the representation of parts of the neighborhood adjacent to the campuses of the University of Missouri and Stephens College are poorly represented.
The lawsuit alleges that Hammen got $100,000 from Zeta Phi Corp. in exchange for various promises made on behalf of the association.
The lawsuit also accuses officers of the association failing to pay taxes due on the settlement, refusing to disclose the terms and amount of the settlement to the neighborhood association, and misspending the majority of the $100,000 settlement without approval from the neighborhood association.
One of the association members suing the officers, Timothy Waid, said the settlement funds were obtained with overtures regarding fixtures for safety lighting, but they have not been appropriated toward the improvements.
Waid also claims that the members of the association have been continuously misrepresented by the officers. "Hammen and Betsy Peters have acted against the better interests of these members and stakeholders and have not solicited democratic input in the functioning of the East Campus Community. Regrettably, legal remedy to provide responsible leadership in East Campus Community functions is the only option that remains.”
The lawsuit wants the officers to provide a true and accurate accounting of the settlement funds, determine the specific purposes for which the settlement funds may be used, and prohibit the officers from transferring the funds to a new organization.