One of the rumors we heard about some individuals’ upset with University of Central Missouri President Aaron Podolefsky was over the distribution of funds from the McClain Will and the McClain Trust to the university. We asked for the documents and got them. We also asked for any legal opinions concerning the will – the response was we’re not entitled to look at anything like that, which makes us think that a legal opinion or legal opinions actually do exist.
Our previous coverage:
Three steps behind, and to the right (January 25, 2008)
Three steps behind, and to the right, part 2 – a microcosm of our universe (September 21, 2009)
“A Gentleman’s Agreement”? (October 15, 2009) (transcript of a portion of the live radio broadcast)
It wasn’t just about a tree (October 21, 2009)
“A Gentleman’s Agreement?”: I heard it on the radio (October 21, 2009)
On October 19, 2009 we asked the following:
…date: Mon, Oct 19, 2009 at 3:13 PM
Subject: Request for information under RSMo 610
…This email serves as notice that I am asking for the following under RSMo 610, i.e. the Sunshine Law, the following :
1. A copy of the McClain Trust/Gift – original bequest (will)
All legal opinions regarding the trust issued inside or outside the university…
We received the following response on Wednesday:
…Sent: Wed, October 21, 2009 2:28:56 PM
Subject: Re: Request for information under RSMo 610
…Pursuant to your request of October 19, 2009, I am attaching (1) a copy of the McClain Will & Trust…. In regard to your request for “All legal opinions regarding the trust issued inside or outside the university,” legal opinions are not subject to production under the Missouri Sunshine Law….
You can read the documents for yourself:
April 17, 2001
…If any beneficiary under this Will in any manner, directly or indirectly, contests or attacks this Will or any of its provisions, any share or interest in my estate given to that contesting beneficiary under this Will is revoked and shall be disposed of in the manner provided herein as if that contesting beneficiary had predeceased me without issue…
April 17, 2001
Page 4 of the Regina E. McClain 2001 Declaration of Trust
…The residue of the estate is to be distributed to CENTRAL MISSOURI STATE UNIVERSITY AT WARRENBURG MISSOURI, to be used to establish a department of nutrition, to the extent funds are available to use excess funds for a scholarship fund for needy students to study the nutrition field…
Page 14 of the Regina E. McClain 2001 Declaration of Trust
….4.15 No-Contest Clause
In the event any beneficiary under this Trust shall, singly or in conjunction with any other person or persons, contest in any court the validity of this Trust or of a deceased Settlor’s last Will or shall seek to obtain an adjudication in in any proceeding in any Court that this trust or any of its provisions or that such Will or any of it is void, or seek otherwise to void, nullify, or set aside this Trust or any of its provisions, then the right of that person to take any interest given to him/her by this Trust shall be determined as it would have been determined had the person predeceased the execution of this Declaration of Trust without surviving issue….
We understand that a nutrition department at the University of Central Missouri got the money.
Well, it’s plain English and it’s set in stone. We’re not attorneys, but according to Senator Al Franken who has done some research, neither are most Americans. It looks to us like the money can only be used for those purposes stated in the Will and Trust, and anyone who is complaining that President Aaron Podolefsky cut them out of the will is crying over an inheritance that they never had a chance of getting.
It ain’t rocket surgery to figure this out.