Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Rep. Brian Aldridge (R-Tupelo) accused by family member of misusing funds; Patsy Brumfield live-blogged the hearing

In a Lee County courtroom today, Rep. Brian Aldridge (R-Tupelo) and his parents went to trial defending a lawsuit brought by Rep. Aldridge's elderly aunt, Florence Aldridge. Here's what Patsy Brumfield had to say about it:
The elderly Mrs. Aldridge claims extensive assets were improperly used by her brother-in-law, Louis Aldridge of Tupelo, to whom she gave her power of attorney rights in 2003 when she became ill.

Today, her attorneys seek to convince Chancellor Mike Malski that she is owed a full accounting of what happened to her assets – money, her home, jewelry, life insurance proceeds and other things. She also wants punitive damages and attorneys’ fees.

The defendants, including Louis’ wife, Janice, and their son, Rep. Brian Aldridge, insist they did nothing improper. Among Florence Aldridge’s allegations is that Touched by an Angel Ministries Inc. of Tupelo was given $250,000 from her accounts, and did not reflect her best interests.

Brumfield went on to live-blog the action in the courtroom.

The takeaway is that Aunt Flo alleges that Rep. Aldridge and his parents bilked her out of hundreds of thousands of dollars, with a portion of it being funneled to or through "Touched by an Angel Ministries, Inc." When Rep. Aldridge was called to the stand, it was 11:48 a.m., and the judge decided to take a lunch break. During that break, Rep. Aldridge's parents filed for bankruptcy, which automatically halted the trial just seventeen minutes before Rep. Aldridge was to take the stand. Testimony from the morning session asserted that Rep. Aldridge had improperly received $12,000 of his Aunt Florence's money, and that someone used her money to pay for a hotel and meals in Hawaii.

The trial is on hold until the bankruptcy judge lifts the stay.

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