Receiver opens door to LCHS

By: 
Wade Young

After years of alleged closed door practices with its members, murky financial dealings, and anti-democratic processes, which, is the basis of a lawsuit against the Le Sueur County Historical Society (LCHS), the Receiver appointed by a Le Sueur County judge is shedding light on many of the details of LCHS.

The interim report filed in court last week came from Receiver Robert T. Kugler of the law firm Stinson Leonard Street, Minneapolis. Kugler was given complete control of the society by Le Sueur County Judge Mark Vandelist on March 27. Over the past month, Kugler has taken over complete control of the society.

His report included detailed information on LCHS properties, assets, liabilities, and bank accounts. It described his work as ordered by Vandelist after board members Jenifer Morsching, Donna Morsching, Evelyn Fierst, and Society Coordinator Kathy Burns failed to follow court mandates and appearances.

Financials

Kugler’s report showed that LCHS has five bank accounts: A general operating account with a balance of $7,606, a grant fund account of $50, a payroll and taxes account with $5,411, an Art Collection Project Fund with $20,002, and an Art Fund with $100,244.

The Art Fund is from the 2015 lawsuit between LCHS and Chapter 1 where Le Sueur County courts awarded control of the Dehn Art Fund and $274,728 to LCHS. After the judgement, Kugler said $250,000 was moved to a newly opened Art Fund, that now has a balance of $100,244.

The attorney noted that the society’s new board of directors will have the decision to determine if LCHS officials (Morsching, Morsching, Fierst and Burns) used the $150,000 difference in accordance with the court’s orders.

“Judge Perkins stated that ‘this fund shall be used for the acquisition, preservation and exhibition of artwork connected by artist or content to Le Sueur County Minnesota.’ A forensic effort to determine whether the approximately $188,000 used between February 26, 2015 and March 27, 2019 were used in a manner consistent with Judge Perkins' order has not been conducted,” Kugler wrote.

See more, including information on the annual meeting on June 3, in the print edition.

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