- Last Updated: 3:14 PM, October 11, 2012
- Posted: 3:12 PM, October 11, 2012
A state appeals court has upheld the National Arts Club's vote to boot its disgraced ex-president from the club.
In a ruling released today, the state Appellate Division said the Gramercy Park club was well within its rights when it voted to expel its longtime president Aldon James amid allegations he'd been treating the club as his own personal piggy bank and Manhattan Mini-Storage.
James had contended the vote to expel him, his twin brother John and their friend Steven Leitner was the result of "bias" by members of the club's board, many of whom they'd butted heads with over the years.
The Appellate Division found Edmead had overstepped her authority "by interfering with internal, private club proceedings."
They said the vote had been carried out in accordance with Arts Club bylaws, and the Jameses failed to show the board was biased.
Lawyers for the club and James did not immediately return calls for comment.
The ruling came just three weeks after the state Attorney General's office filed a $2 million lawsuit against James, charging he'd cheated it out of big bucks during his tenure as president.
The oddball — famed for his rose-tinted glasses — and his twin brother James hoarded a dozen apartments at the club for their personal use and used club cash to go on shopping sprees at antique fairs and out to dinner, the suit charged.
"For years, Mr. James took advantage of his role as the leader of the National Arts Club to deprive the organization of valuable assets that should have been used to advance its charitable mission," AG Eric Schneiderman said.
James has said in court papers that both he and his brother are hoarders, and they needed the apartments to hold their belongings. The AG charged the apartments they were using could have — and should have — been rented out to club members and their friends.
The suit also charges the Jameses would often go on "shopping sprees" armed with the club's debit card or check book. James "lived off the club; he regularly treated the club's property as his own in order to fund nearly every aspect of his comfortable lifestyle," the suit says.
The action is still pending. James has denied any wrongdoing.