Bonnie Donohue Great Falls Newspaper 2.15.1998

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Bonnie Donohue Great Falls Newspaper 2.15.1998 - III lb pit yp m si Third party put in charge...
III lb pit yp m si Third party put in charge until owners settle dispute By JACQUIE BURCHARD Tribune Business Editor The 239-room Heritage Inn vill be offered for sale in the latest twist to a legal dispute between the two feuding families who own the facility. Under order of a district court judge, the Heritage Inn has been placed in receivership. Local accountant Maurice P. Clark was appointed last month to oversee the operation and sale of the hotel until it's sold or the management dispute is otherwise settled. Clark didn't return calls last week concerning the timetable for selling the hotel. But attorneys for the owners insist the Heritage is sdtvent. The third-largest hotel in Montana and a key Great Falls convention site, the Heritage employs more than 100 people with an annual payroll of more than $2.3 million. It's expected to stay largely intact despite the legal wrangling, and the hotel's usually jam-packed convention schedule shouldn't be affected, the attorneys said. "The Heritage Inn is here to stay," said Curtis Thompson, who represents Roy Volk, a Great Falls businessman and co-owner of the hotel. "It's one of our bigger and better businesses in this community, it's a good business and there is no indication that it is in any way jeopardized." Volk and Heritage Inn Inc., the hotel corporation, are defendants in the lawsuit, filed by Al and Bonnie Donohue, the Great Falls couple who are the other co-owners. At issue in the suit, which eventually made its way before the Montana Supreme Court, is how the Heritage should be managed and whether its status as a corporation should be extended. When the Heritage corporation was created in 1972, the shareholders only Volk and the two Donohues gave it a 25-year life, with the corporation scheduled to dissolve at the end of 1997. But somewhere along the line, disagreements began. Volk apparently planned to allow the corporation to dissolve as scheduled. "Strictly speaking, if the corporation was going to enforce its own mandate, it would seek to dissolve itself," Thompson said. But the Donohues filed the lawsuit in October 1996 to extend the corporation's life. The Donohues also sought an injunction that would have required that the corporation remain intact until the legal haggling was complete. A district court judge in Shelby initially agreed to grant that injunction (district court judges in Great Falls declined to take the case). When Volk challenged that judgment and asked the court to enforce the articles of incorporation, his appeal took the issue to the state Supreme Court. The court agreed that the dissolution should proceed. The Donohues have since appealed the order leading to the dissolution. Through their attorneys, both Volk and the Donohues declined to discuss the suit. And most hotel employees are unaware of the dispute. The attorneys involved would say little about why the trio couldn't agree on whether the corporation should stay alive. "There is in the dispute some disagreement with respect to management of corporate assets," Thompson said. "Those issues haven't been fully developed, and I'd See HERITAGE, 3A

Clipped from
  1. Great Falls Tribune,
  2. 15 Feb 1998, Sun,
  3. Page 1

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  • Bonnie Donohue Great Falls Newspaper 2.15.1998

    kev_emmelkamp – 02 Feb 2017

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