The "hebdomadis horribilis" continues for the Stifani - Legrand Team. Earlier in the week Miss Monique took a hammering over her honoraria in another of her "unfortunate" files and as the GLNF administrator over the changing of the locks of the Puteaux Temple. Now it's François Stifani's turn. And on a Friday 13th, to add insult to injury.
The long awaited decision of the Paris Court of Appeal turned out to be only a partial decision, but what a magnificent step in the right direction. The three judges took a unanimous position, ruling that the functions of Grand Master of the GLNF and President of the GLNF Associatioin cannot be separated. The GM is the President and the President is the GM. So, in his delaying tactic of almost a year ago (January 21st, 2011) when Ephesse resigned as President of the GLNF Association, the judges have declared that he also resigned his position as Grand Master of the GLNF. This is exactly what the opposition has been saying for the past twelve months.
For a year there hasn't been a pilot in the plane. For a year, each and every nomination of National and Provincial Officer is baseless. For a year, each and every ordinance and decree suspending or striking off a member (well over a thousand), a Lodge (more than 300) or an entire Province (French Polynesia) has been totally unjustified. For a year, all the expenses down to the very last postage stamp incurred by François Stifani and those he put in place should not have occurred and, in theory at least, will have to be reimbursed.
The Court of Appeal decision also affects Miss Monique. Because she has allowed François Stifani access to the 3rd floor, access to the GLNF membership lists and she has authorised his sumptuous lifestyle (first class air travel, 5 star hotels and prestigeous restaurants, nor forgetting the dry cleaning bills for the big blue apron). What was the bill for the farcical Grand Lodge meeting at Levallois Perret on December 3rd ? How much has the GLNF paid to the communication consultants for Brèves, the "101" glossy, etc ?
The 3 judges did not make a ruling on the 3 principal questions of the appeal :
- the legality of the October 16th, 2010 multi-location AGM (logically it is illegal because it was called by François Stifani)
- the last legally called annual dues (logically 2009 - 2010)
- the electoral college for the AGM (logically the same as for the last AGM of March 25th, 2010
Why ? Because they have postponed their ruling on the receivability of the last minute submission by a small number of French Riviera Brethren whose papers were filed at the wrong court office (accidentally of course !). That decision will be pronounced on February 2nd.
Just two days before the scheduled AGM. It is probable that Miss Monique will be obliged to postpone that assembly.
Confronted with the shock announcement (not even the most optimistic members of the opposition foresaw that the judges would rule only on the GM / President identity) the Balloo - Pardo legal eagle team for Stifani put up a brave face protesting lame duck legal interpretations of the ruling that fool no-one.
The developments are likely to be fast and furious over the next 3 weeks. LML in Engllish will keep you informed as things develop. In the meantime it is more and more important for the opposition to be united. If you have not already done so, complete an individual inscription form to the Union des Loges Régulières de France (ULRF).