Foundation sues Lincoln University to retrieve more than $600,000

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JEFFERSON CITY - The former Lincoln University Foundation says its lawsuit against the Lincoln University Board of Curators was a last resort.

The group, now known as the 62nd and 65th Regiments Legacy Foundation, filed suit Monday. The suit claims the university is wrongly in possession of the foundation's documents, information and assets, including $667,000 from a special purpose fund.

The suit also asks the court to help protect its relationships with donors.

"The foundation requests the Court to protect Foundation donor information and relationships by requiring the University to return all foundation donor information and documents to the Foundation and forbid the University's use of Foundations donor information," a press release said.

Foundation attorney James Tippin said the situation is gut-wrenching.

"Its very painful for us to say we are suing our alma mater," he said. 

The foundation was an independent organization in charge of fundraising for the university. It's partnership with the university ended on Dec. 31. After the foundation rejected a new agreement.

That agreement would have granted the university president more power over the foundation's spending and required all of the foundation's assets be transferred to the university.

The foundation sent a letter to the university requesting information and property that it needs to operate and distribute funds, including that $667,000.

"We didn't get the money back, but we didn't get all of the property that belonged to the foundation, so the foundation could become operational again, and that is the genesis of the lawsuit," Tippin said.

Lincoln University spokeswoman Misty Young said the university won't let the lawsuit detract from its students' education.

"We are not aware of any legitimate basis for such a lawsuit and the University will defend itself and seek to get the suit dismissed."