By Patsy R. Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – State Rep. Brian Aldridge owes $218,355 to his aunt, whose estate was plundered by Aldridge’s father while he had her power of attorney.
Whether he’ll appeal that decision isn’t decided yet, his attorney said Wednesday just hours after the ruling.
Chancellor Michael Malski ordered Brian Aldridge to pay Florence Aldridge the money because, the judge said, even though Brian was not personally liable for the more than $522,000 she lost to Louis Aldridge, Brian was legally responsible for the charity through which Louis funneled some of her money.
Brian Aldridge is chief executive of Touched By An Angel Ministries Inc., which operates a camp ministry for disabled children and adults near Tupelo. His father was once the charity’s chief financial officer.
“Brian breached his duty as an officer of Touched By An Angel Ministries Inc. and is individually liable to Florence,” Malski wrote in ordering the total judgment amended.
Brian Aldridge’s attorney, T.K. Moffett of Tupelo, said he hasn’t talked with his client yet, but they have 30 days to decide if they’ll appeal.
Florence Aldridge, a 67-year-old Tupelo piano teacher, sued Brian, Louis and Louis’ wife Janice a few years ago after she discovered that her estate she’d entrusted to Louis, her brother-in-law, was gone.
Last December, Malski ordered Louis and Janice to repay Florence $552,000 and the charity Touched By An Angel Ministries Inc. to repay her $140,100 which came from Florence’s estate. However, the judge dismissed Brian from any financial damages.
Wednesday’s ruling answers Florence’s attorneys, who came back to court to return Brian to the damages judgment.