Barbara McKinzie

*A Washington, D.C. Superior Court judge last week threw out of court a much publicized lawsuit designed to kick out of office the current leadership of  the nation’s oldest African American sorority – Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKAs).

Plaintiffs had charged financial improprieties and that international President Barbara McKinzie had used the group’s treasury as a kind of personal piggy bank.

While not declaring the allegations false, Judge Natalia Combs Greene concluded the claims did not warrant intervention by the court. She wrote:

“This case is largely about several disgruntled AKA members disillusioned with what they see as an increasingly opaque, authoritarian and self-serving leadership in their organization. The question remains, however, whether such behavior warrants judicial intervention.”

One of the decisions which had most angered the plaintiffs was the fact that McKinzie had used sorority money to commission a $900,000 “living legacy wax figure” of herself. She was also accused of writing herself hefty retirement checks. McKinzie denied the allegations.

Another problem with the lawsuit was that while the sorority was founded at Howard University in Washington, D.C. in 1908, it is currently headquartered in Chicago.

The judge said the issues raised were not weighty enough to give a D.C. court jurisdiction over an Illinois corporation. (source: Taylor Media Services)