Monday, April 19, 2010

Lawsuit Against Sorority President Who Commissioned Wax Statue of Herself

A lawsuit filed by the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority last year claimed that its international president should be ousted because she spent hundreds of thousands of dollars of the group’s money on a wax statue of herself and other personal items.

International President Barbara McKinzie says that the statue cost less than $45,000. Her statute and the other she commissioned (one of an original sorority president) are supposedly to be  displayed in the National Great Blacks in Wax Museum.  She claims that the rest of the $900,000 at issue was put toward the sorority's 2009 national convention in Chicago. Yes, the National Great Blacks in Wax Museum (NGBIWM) is real; it states that it exists in part to "use great leaders as role models to motivate youth to achieve".  No word yet on who has promoted Ms. McKinzie to "great leader" status.

The sorority's suit alleged that McKinzie used the sorority’s American Express card to buy designer clothing, jewelry and lingerie, and she used credit-card awards points to buy a big-screen television and gym equipment, according to the stories. In all, the suit says, she spent almost $400,000 on personal expenses, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

However, the Washington D.C. based Judge Natalia M. Combs-Greene did not accept those allegations and claimed the lawsuit was based on “hyperbolic allegations.”  Judge Combs-Greene recently dismissed the lawsuit. Interestingly, Judge Combs Greene, a Clinton appointee, is an African American female who attended law school at Howard University, where the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority was founded.

Inquiries to the National Great Blacks in Wax Museum to find out the status of Ms. McKinzie's wax statue have not been responded to.