Hall County’s local chapter of Disabled American Veterans will decide today whether to pay some $10,250 to the state chapter or risk losing its charter.
The state suspended the local chapter from any activity in December over a fundraising dispute.
Local commander Sam Smith says it’s because the group has refused to turn over half the proceeds from a 14-day fundraiser at Golden Corral in November.
The Times has made repeated efforts to reach staff at the state and national Disabled American Veterans departments, and has been unsuccessful.
The local chapter raised some $20,500 last November.
The group planned to use part of the money to replace a van it uses to shuttle local veterans to and from a veterans hospital in Decatur.
Smith said the state chapter has asked for half of the money, a request he believes is contrary to the Disabled American Veterans’ constitutional bylaws.
Smith said the group believes it is only required to send 10 percent of those proceeds to the state chapter.
The group will meet tonight to determine whether to continue its fight.
It will be the fourth time the group has voted on the issue.
It also may be the last.
Smith believes the group could lose its charter on April 20 if it doesn’t comply with the state’s demands.
If that happens, Smith said the local group is prepared to make a legal challenge. Already, they’re being represented by Georgia’s former attorney general, Michael J. Bowers.
“If we don’t change our minds, we’re going to lose our charter,” Smith said. “And once we lose our charter, yeah, we can eventually take them to court. We believe that we can beat them.”