DOWNEY - The Downey Museum of Art (DMOA) and its director, Kate Davies, are being sued by its one-time director of business and development, Anita McGarr, for breach of contract and fraud.The lawsuit was announced recently by the law firm of Tredway, Lumsdaine & Doyle LLP of Downey, who filed a complaint on McGarr's behalf on Feb. 10 at Norwalk Superior Court. The suit alleges that McGarr is owed for professional services and a guaranteed outstanding amount as stipulated in a consultant agreement between the parties, to the tune of at least $383,000. The agreement, which was to have lasted for two terms, the first one from June 1, 2007 to June 1, 2009, and the second term lasting for another two years, was purportedly entered into by Davies and McGarr on June 1, 2007 and subsequently approved by the DMOA board circa June 29, 2007. Davies declined to comment on the lawsuit. According to the formal complaint, McGarr submitted her resignation from her position on Dec. 18, 2008. In addition to breach of contract and fraud, allegations against DMOA and Davies include unfair business practices. As director of business and development, McGarr's duties included, but were not limited to, business and program development, negotiations of program and/or project contracts and agreements, market research and analysis, and research regarding multi-media platforms and technology. One of her assignments was as a capital campaign manager, later known as a raffle drawing manager. According to her resume, McGarr has had years of experience and involvement in the film/TV industry and multi-media children's educational markets. Davies has been at the helm as executive director of DMOA for a number of years. The museum is known to be in the midst of developing its "Blueprint for Sustainability" program primarily in the form of a new green museum called DMOA@TheGlidehouse, designed to pursue educational programs in sustainable and renewable resources, energy conservation and Eco-Green technologies to "support an educational hub of outreach programs" to the schools and the public. Tredway, Lumsdaine & Doyle senior partner Joseph Lumsdaine and Raul Zermeno, Esq., were joint filers of the suit.
********** Published: April 17, 2009 - Volume 7 - Issue 52