Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Judge Indefinitely Postpones Cowboy Hall Leadership Trial

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Judge Indefinitely Postpones Cowboy Hall Leadership Trial

Article excerpt

An order indefinitely postponing a trial involving the leadership dispute of the Cowboy Hall of Fame and Western Heritage C enter of Oklahoma City was issued Wednesday in Oklahoma County District Court by District Judge John Amick.

The delay was issued because both sides in the battle have filed appeals of earlier decisions by Amick with the Oklahoma Supreme Court. The trial had been scheduled to start on Sept. 9.

While it appears that both parties have no wish to delay the trial court proceedings, Amick said in his order, "it is in the best interest of justice and judicial economy to stay the trial at this time."

The appeals to the Supreme Court center around two decisions by Amick:

- The first removed six of the original seven plaintiffs from the lawsuit against hall directors Frank Leu, Ed Rutherford and Dean Krakel.

- The second decision denied a motion to determine the "true" board of directors and allow them to meet and hold an election.

Legal proceedings surrounding the hall had their genesis April 21 when a stormy director's meeting left the hall's leadershp structure in doubt.

Dean Krakel, the disputed managing director, used proxy votes gathered from out-of-state directors to usurp the power of Paul Strasbaugh, an Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce vice president, brought in to reorganize the hall's finances which came under fire during Krakel's tenure.

That proxy vote led to the filing of a lawsuit by seven hall directors who were aligned with Strasbaugh. Six of plaintiffs were later removed from the legal proceedings by Amick because they had resigned from the board and the hall's board of trustees.

The suit was filed to determine the validity of the proxy votes and to determine the legal board of directors. …

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