NARAL Missouri Sued for Failing to Return $40K Donation

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NARAL Missouri Sued for Failing to Return $40K Donation
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The termination of the executive director of an abortion rights group in Missouri has ended in litigation — but not from the woman who was fired. The lawsuit was instead filed by an angry donor who wants her money back.

Nathalie Pettus, who is well-known locally as the owner of Nathalie's restaurant in the Central West End, as well as Overlook Farm in Clarksville, Missouri, filed the suit in circuit court on Tuesday. She is demanding that NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri and its foundation return her $40,000 donation.

Pettus alleges that she gave the money in January 2015 with the condition that executive director Pamela Sumners remain as executive director of the non-profit organization for the calendar year. But in July, her lawsuit claims, the board president "out of the blue" fired Sumners. Pettus says she's twice demanded the money's return, but hasn't gotten a response.

Case law cited in the suit suggests that donors do have the right to their money back in such instances — although, of course, it's for the courts to determine what should happen in this specific case.

Calls to Pettus were not returned yesterday afternoon. NARAL Missouri referred questions to its attorney, Michael Waxenberg, who did not return a call seeking comment. We'll update this post if we hear back.

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About The Author

Sarah Fenske

Sarah Fenske is the executive editor of Euclid Media Group, overseeing publications in eight cities. She is the former host of St. Louis on the Air and was previously editor-in-chief of the RFT and the LA Weekly. She lives in St. Louis.
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