Judge agrees to hear lawsuit against LeMoyne-Owen College - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Kontji Anthony

Judge agrees to hear lawsuit against LeMoyne-Owen College

A judge agreed to hear a lawsuit against LeMoyne-Owen College and the city of Memphis.

The suit is over $3 million dollars the city gave the college and one man wants your money back.

Howard Entman's fired up. He says he'll prove the city's using your tax money inappropriately.

But, the city appears just as fired up to prove its donation will reap a multi-million dollar reward for the public.

Local radiologist Howard Entman is paying an attorney to stop the city from donating $3 million to LeMoyne Owen College.

"I believe it is something that should be done and I believe that it's right," said Entman. "If the city gives LeMoyne-Owen, a private institution, the money, why not give MUS a million dollars or Lausanne School a million dollars or your uncle's hardware store a million dollars," he added.

His attorney calls that unconstitutional.

"There has to be an election where the people of Memphis vote to give money to private corporations or institutions or individuals," said Entman's attorney Duncan Ragsdale.

But, Memphis City Attorney Allan Wade points out the college is non-profit and most cities give similar assistance to corporations.

He too says the law is on his side.

"The Tennessee General Assembly has determined that it is a public purpose to make donations to non-profit institutions where they provide to the general welfare of our community," said Wade.

Wade says LeMoyne pumps $35 million into the community each year. LeMoyne Owen Attorney Ruby Wharton says Entman's proof will be a tall order.

"To establish that he has been hurt that he has experienced a special injury and I don't think that's the case," said Wharton.

Entman added, "I'm a citizen of Memphis and I believe I have standing."

Now, only the scales of justice can decide who's right. And the clock's ticking. LeMoyne's supposed to get its first million dollar installment next week.

The hearing resumes Thursday afternoon.

Click here to email Kontji Anthony.

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