Monday, January 30, 2017

Overbearing, autocratic and offensive

Who can forget the universal wisdom of Lord Acton's words about power?

“Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority; still more when you superadd the tendency of the certainty of corruption by authority.”

Does this apply to all organizations, even award-winning nonprofits? Well, a decision today here from the 5th DCA, which brought this to mind, begins like this:
Image result for sic semper tyrannisAfter being elected president of the Bakersfield Green Thumb Garden Club (the Club), plaintiff John Lucas began to carry out his office in a manner that many Club members described as overbearing, autocratic and offensive. When plaintiff persisted in this style of leadership, the members of the Club took action. At a general membership meeting, a vote was taken that removed plaintiff from office.
The removed-president sued the Club and individual members. Defendants won at a bench trial, and the 5th DCA affirms. But the decision notes that the litigation expenses pushed the club into insolvency.