Superior Court Judge Ural Glanville has ordered King Inc. to revise the bylaws of the corporation that controls the estate of Martin Luther King Jr. in a way that will likely ensure that its president, Dexter King, no longer will control the corporation.
The order issued Tuesday resulted from the final settlement of a lawsuit brought in 2008 against Dexter King by his siblings, Bernice King and Martin Luther King III. The siblings had accused their brother of mismanaging the family business — which controls the copyright of Martin Luther King Jr.’s writings and intellectual property — and profiting improperly.
Glanville ruled in December, when the the siblings agreed to settle their mutual lawsuits against one another by letting a temporary custodian run King Inc., that Dexter King had not behaved improperly.
The siblings, who were shareholders in the corporation, also complained that the corporate bylaws effectively stopped them from removing their brother from power because he refused to call a meeting that would allow them to put his stewardship to a vote.
Glanville’s new order, based on the analysis of court-appointed custodian Terry Giles, directed Giles to revise corporate governance documents “in accordance with best practices … including but not limited to job descriptions, policies and procedure manuals.”
The judge also ruled that Giles may negotiate a new employment agreement with Dexter King that documents the terms and conditions of his continued employment by King Inc., including payment of any money still owed to him by the corporation or any that he owes to the corporation. Giles can also negotiate the terms of his termination of such employment and a buyout of his shares.
The order also says Giles can negotiate any contracts or agreement that he believes are in the best interest of the corporation, including the movie deal that Dexter King had previously negotiated to be produced by Steven Spielberg’s Dreamworks about the life of their father. The deal stalled because of opposition by Bernice King and Martin Luther King III.
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