Richard Paine Jr. Spent his grownup life accumulating an antique car series that has few rivals.
In 1963 he based the Seal Cove Auto Museum at the quiet facet of Mount Desert Island to show his most-prized automobiles from the past due to 19th- and the early twentieth-century period called the Brass Era.
Despite its far-flung vicinity, the museum draws more than 10,000 visitors every yr who get to peer dozens of uncommon, restored vehicles (and some bikes), some worth as a lot as $800,000.
Paine descended from an vintage-cash Boston family and provided full-size investment to hold the museum operating. Since his death in 2007, that money has come from a charitable accept as true with set up in his call.
But a dispute has advanced between the museum and the guys responsible for dealing with the consider, threatening both Paine’s legacy and the museum’s destiny.
For the closing two years, they accept as true with and the Maine Attorney General’s Office was looking to settle a lawsuit filed by means of the country that alleges trustees, John Sanford of Camden and John Peabody Monks Higgins of Cape Elizabeth, paid themselves excessive costs and inflated the price of the consider’s assets to boom those prices.
The AG’s office, which filed the criticism after a lawsuit brought through the museum turned into thrown out, has asked a decide to decide whether or not Sanford and Higgins had been certainly paid excessive fees and, if so, to reserve each man to pay again the quantity deemed immoderate. It has even suggested dissolving the accept as true with and shifting its assets to another public charity.
Sanford has been related to Paine courting returned to the early Nineteen Eighties and become formerly investigated via the kingdom related to his control of the belief. He declined to talk approximately the allegations, as did Higgins, who has been involved simplest given that 2008. Toby Dilworth, an legal professional representing the accept as true with, forcefully denied that both men did some thing incorrect.
“Many of the issues are primarily based on fake and deceptive data supplied with the aid of others who aren’t satisfied with the way Richard Paine chose to go away and direct the management of his property,” he said in written responses to questions from the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram.
The AG’s office could not comment on specifics of the case but said it simplest investigates credible lawsuits.
“We appearance cautiously at instances in which we believe there is proof that the trustees or board members are setting their personal hobbies ahead of the charitable assignment,” the workplace said in a declaration. “Unfortunately, every now and then litigation can’t be averted.”
It appears little progress has been made, because of this the lawsuit will be headed to trial – one that probably would reopen a complicated, many years-vintage battle concerning participants of Paine’s circle of relatives, Sanford and others, all of whom are looking to assert that they realize quality what the useless man’s desires had been.
Dan Boxer, a former University of Maine School of Law ethics professor, reviewed the publicly to be had documents related to the case and determined elements of them troubling. But Boxer additionally stated he’d be surprised if the case is not settled due to the fact the Maine Nonprofit Corporation Act, the set of legal guidelines that govern nonprofits, isn’t set up to be punitive.
“The AG’s workplace, regrettably, doesn’t have the sources to hold these things out to the give up,” he stated.
Museum board individuals don’t have felony standing inside the contemporary case but are looking carefully due to the fact the fate of their quirky museum may be at stake. David White, a board member from Kennebunk and antique car enthusiast, stated the gathering in Seal Cove is excellent and he concerns what will take place to it. Already, payments to the museum from the agree with had been falling and individuals have found out that the museum’s maximum precious automobile, a 1913 wooden-bodied Peugeot, is being shopped.
“If matters maintain going the manner they are going, the museum received’t be able to sustain,” White said.
CREATING CHARITABLE TRUST
Richard Cushing Paine Jr.’s tremendous-excellent-outstanding-excellent grandfather became Robert Treat Paine, an authentic signer of the Declaration of Independence, and the own family has been distinguished and wealthy ever since. His father, Richard Paine Sr., became an accomplice at an funding company that, amongst other matters, managed the endowment for Harvard University.
Like many affluent Boston-place households, the Paines had coastal assets in Maine – an estate in the Mount Desert Island village of Seal Cove in which Richard Jr. Spent summers as a boy.
In 1954 he married Penelope Stillman, who also got here from money. They had two daughters, Tina and Diana.