Fired director sues Oregon air museum
The former director of the Evergreen Aviation Museum has filed a $1. 7 million suit against the museum and its founder, claiming wrongful...
MCMINNVILLE, Ore. — The former director of the Evergreen Aviation Museum has filed a $1.7 million suit against the museum and its founder, claiming wrongful termination.
William Schaub, who filed the suit in Yamhill County, was fired in November 2002 after disagreements with Del Smith, the museum's founder and chief patron, about financial affairs and the museum's nonprofit status.
The museum's centerpiece is Howard Hughes' famous Spruce Goose, which is featured prominently in the Oscar-nominated film "The Aviator."
Schaub's complaints about Smith became public when a letter from Schaub to his former boss was obtained by The Oregonian newspaper.
In his letter, the one-time aide to U.S. Sen. Mark Hatfield accused Smith of "self-dealing" in his handling of museum affairs.
In his lawsuit Schaub contends, for example, that $600,000 in museum funds were "withdrawn" by Evergreen International Aviation for expenses that were not the museum's responsibility. Schaub says he complained in a September 2001 internal memo "that earnings of the museum were being used for the benefit of Evergreen International Aviation, and Smith personally."
McMinnville-based Evergreen International Aviation, named as one of the defendants in the lawsuit, is one of the nation's largest air-freight operations.
It was founded by Smith, a wealthy aviation entrepreneur who also was the Oregon Republican Party's most generous financial backer in 2004.
Smith founded the museum in 2000 on land near Evergreen's headquarters.
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