Zulu legal challenge could 'cripple' the club

Published: Nov. 15, 2012 at 1:50 AM CST|Updated: Nov. 22, 2012 at 1:50 AM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn
Petition (Photo by Jessica Holly)
Petition (Photo by Jessica Holly)
Portion of letter from Zulu president to members (Photo by Jessica Holly)
Portion of letter from Zulu president to members (Photo by Jessica Holly)

New Orleans, La. - The Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club puts on of the most anticipated parades of carnival season, but its role in Mardi Gras 2013 may be in jeopardy.

On October 31, Zulu member and attorney David Belfield filed a petition on behalf of fellow member Joseph Weadd.  The petition asks a judge to put a stop to implementing changes in membership assessments that were adopted by the club in August.

The petition alleges the 50 percent increase was adopted in violation of the club's bylaws.

In a letter dated November 9, Zulu President Naaman Stewart informs members of the petition and states, "A hearing on the matter may possibly be scheduled in the next couple of weeks."

He also states, "I would be remiss if I didn't point out that this latest legal challenge by David Belfield and Joseph Weadd could cripple the institution of Zulu as we know it today."

The letter also refers to the club being on the verge of financial ruin when the new administration took over in July.  It reads, "If the above case is successful, we will need to examine how we continue to put on events like the Ball, Parade and the Lundi Gras Festival to name a few. Without our current revenue streams, Zulu in effect would have to strongly consider bankruptcy protection and scaling back or foregoing Mardi Gras 2013."

Everyone involved in this matter is a member of the club, including the attorneys on both sides.  None of them would comment on the petition.  They tell FOX 8 News that, if they discuss club business without their president's permission, they could jeopardize their membership.

When we asked the Zulu president about the petition, he also refused to comment.