O. Aldon James, the ousted head of the prestigious National Arts Club in Manhattan, will pay $950,000 in settlement claims for his mismanagement of the institution. New York officials say that James used the club's resources to live the high life and for shopping sprees.
State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman sued O. Aldon James in September for occupying more than a dozen apartments in the club rent-free, along with his brother and an associate. Club funds were spent at antique shops, flea markets and vintage clothing stores, and critics say that James hoarded his purchases in spaces under his control in the club.
A costly legal battle followed an 18-month investigation, resulting in the ousting of James as director in 2011.
From the settlement, Schneiderman says the club will get $900,000, with the remainder covering the state's costs.
The club was founded in 1898 on Gramercy Park. Members have included a who's who in the arts, from William Merritt Chase to Mark Twain.