Niagara Gazette

Local News

May 6, 2013

Community Center suit loses plaintiff


Niagara Gazette — Documents filed with state supreme court in Niagara County on April 18 identified Alston and the Rev. Charles Searcy as plaintiffs in the pending court case which aims to dissolve the current association on the basis that its board members have “wasted the corporate assets,” including the Centre Avenue building where the community center was located for years. 

The documents were verified with signatures by both Searcy and Alston, indicating that they had “read the foregoing petition” and knew “the contents thereof.” The section identified as “client verification” is signed by both individuals as well, “under penalty of perjury.”

During an interview, Alston said she believed signing the paperwork would relieve her of any responsibility for the association, not involve her in a lawsuit against the majority of its board members.

She also insists she has had no formal dealings with the association’s board in at least a year, adding that she does not consider herself to be a member in good standing at this time, as is indicated on the petition itself. 

“When I signed those papers, I had no idea that I was going to sue somebody,” she said. 

When reached by telephone, Searcy, assistant pastor of Trinity Baptist Church, said he understood that by signing the paperwork he would be a plaintiff in the case. He said that while he favored all parties coming together to resolve their differences, he supports the legal proceedings, believing they will help accomplish his ultimate goal which is to reopen the center. 

“I have no interest in running the center, taking it from anyone,” Searcy said. “I just want the center open.

“If this lawsuit will help it get done quicker, I’m all for it.” 

A hearing on the matter is set for May 16 in state supreme court. 

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