There’s a new development in the audit case that most thought would be settled after POA Treasurer Michael Schaefer passed away. Instead, the eight board members who stopped the audit on grounds of improper procedure have instructed Mr. Schaefer’s widow and family to open his estate or they will force it open themselves to pursue their claims against Schaefer and the vice president for costs of scanning documents, the auditor’s services, attorney fees, and punitive damages for filing what they claim is a “frivolous” suit.
You read that right. The eight board members who shrugged their shoulders and ho-hummed while country club losses soared past the half million mark suddenly care enough about POA money to force open Michael Schaefer’s estate in an attempt to extract tens of thousands from his widow. This is the Michael Schaefer who, while on this earth, willingly and lovingly served his country as lieutenant in the U.S. Navy, his community as director on Water and POA boards, his alma mater as president of the alumni association, and his V.F.W. post as commander — to the best of his ability and the dictates of his conscience.
The suit was filed originally to enjoin the eight board members from halting the audit, and to get a declaratory judgment from the court as to the extent of the treasurer’s authority. Issues in interpreting that authority, found in Section 4.6 of the bylaws, have risen before when a treasurer obtained a legal opinion that was not authorized by the board. The board in office then agreed to pay for it anyway, but interpretation of Section 4.6 by the court would be useful to lay to rest a twice-raised question.
Countersuing, filing multiple motions, threatening a widow: none of this is about the best interests of this community, it’s about aggression. The simple matter of the treasurer’s authority should have been taken before the court and settled months ago. Get it before the court or drop it. All that it’s doing now is bolstering Diamondhead’s considerable reputation for elected officials who delight in bullying others.