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Aldridge asks for new trial in trust fund-repayment case

TUPELO — State Rep. Brian Aldridge has filed a motion for a new trial after he was ordered in May to pay more than $200,000 to his aunt, whose estate was plundered by his father.

The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal reports Aldridge’s attorney, T.K. Moffett of Tupelo, filed the motion.

Lee County Chancellor Michael Malski ordered Aldridge to pay Florence Aldridge $218,355. Malski said that even though Aldridge was not personally liable for the more than $522,000 she lost as a result of actions by his father, Louis Aldridge, he was responsible for what happened through their charity which Louis Aldridge funneled some of her money.

Brian Aldridge, a Republican from Tupelo, is CEO of Touched By An Angel Ministries, Inc., which operates a camp for disable children and adults near Tupelo. Louis Aldridge was once the charity’s chief financial officer.

“The court is now essentially finding that an officer of a charitable organization has a personal responsibility to investigate the course of contributions,” Moffett writes in a motion.

Moffett compares that decision with church and charitable officers and boards to be held potentially liable for gifts that are from unauthorized or illegal sources.

“Surely, this is not the court’s intention,” Moffett said.

Moffett said no proof exists of Brian Aldridge’s personal involvement in Florence Aldridge’s losses.

He also said the court erred in finding the charity liable because it has “no duty to investigation the source of contributions.”

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