A century-old fraternity that was recently embroiled in internal strife between the national executives and members of several local chapters has reached a resolution to end the bitter infighting.
The national executives of the fraternity, Tau Epsilon Phi, have stepped down and allowed interim leaders to come in and run the fraternity while elections are organized. Those executives have also agreed not to run for any leadership positions in the fraternity, although they may still remain members.
These moves come as part of a settlement agreement to end a lawsuit brought by Nathaniel Broughty, the former president of the chapter at City College, and several other disgruntled fraternity members against the national leaders, who include the executive director George Hasenberg as executive director and the Glenn S. Linder as president.
Mr. Broughty and the other plaintiffs had accused Mr. Hasenberg and Mr. Linder of running the fraternity like dictators and using it for their personal profit. While Mr. Hasenberg collected a six-figure salary, the chapters were losing services, the lawsuit contended. To top it off, Mr. Hasenberg failed to hold elections for more than a decade in order to keep himself in power, the lawsuit said.
Now, however, as part of the settlement, all those allegations have been rescinded and the parties may no longer criticize each other in any medium.
“The settling parties represent and warrant that they shall not individually or collectively further defame one another in the press, on the Internet, in the social media, or in any other manner,” the settlement says.
The settlement, which was reached as part of a bankruptcy court proceeding in New Jersey, is still awaiting approval from the judge presiding over the lawsuit in New York.
“As a lawyer it’s rare and extremely gratifying to see so many people so excited about a new beginning they have worked long and hard to bring about,” Daniel Graber, the lawyer for Mr. Broughty, wrote in an e-mail message. “All I can say is this a great achievement for TEP, which has emerged from its death bed to look forward to 100 more years of greatness.”
In the settlement agreement, the executives say that they properly managed the fraternity’s affairs. They also agreed not to collect any further payments such as severance from the fraternity.
The settlement mandates that Mr. Broughty remove from YouTube footage of a protest in front of Mr. Hasenberg’s house, as well as any other video clips relating to the matter that may exist on the Internet.
“I’m extremely happy that we were able to come to an agreement for the benefit of the members and the organization and move forward,” Mr. Broughty said in an interview.
Mr. Broughty is one of 15 members of the fraternity’s interim executive board, which was impaneled last month. Lane Koplon of the University of Georgia is the interim head of the board. The fraternity has scheduled a national meeting for Oct. 22 and 23, when they plan to hold elections for a permanent board. It will be the fraternity’s first election in 12 years.
Since the settlement was reached in May, the fraternity has created a new Web site.
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