All James Brown estate trustees step down

By: Gene Petriello Email
By: Gene Petriello Email

November 20, 2007

BAMBERG, S.C.---One of the men who was once in charge of James Brown's estate is being held in contempt of court.

Judge Jack Early is holding David Cannon in contempt for violating an order to withdraw as a trustee. Cannon also has not paid back $373,000 to the Brown estate. Cannon has until Monday to show Judge Early all of his assets -- from furniture to bank accounts. At that point, Judge Early will be able to know if Cannon willfully did not pay the $373,000.

Judge Early also says Cannon is in contempt of court for amending tax returns on the James Brown Estate after his resignation on August 10th. Judge Early says by doing that, he violated on October 2nd order.

The judge also said Cannon cannot leave the state of South Carolina without permission. Cannon also may face jail time.

Attorney Louis Levenson, "It's not fair to say I can't pay the money but I can tell you where the money has been over the last 6 or 7 years."

Cannon is accused of mismanaging $7 million of the late entertainer's money.

Two other trustees, Buddy Dallas and Alfred Bradley, have resigned leaving Adele Pope as the person overseeing Brown's estate.

Brown's first wife, Velma Brown, dropped her claim. Earlier this month she filed court documents saying she and Brown never divorced. Since then, records have shown that Velma's and James Brown were in fact legally divorced.

"I'm thankful it's one step closer to me and James Brown's son getting on with our lives," says Tomi Rae Brown.

Within 90 days -- Judge Jack Early will decide if she is officially James Brown's fourth wife -- and widow.

"I already know what the outcome of that is. I spent the last 10 years of my life knowing what that outcome is," says Tomi Rae.

Attorney Stan Jackson told the court his two clients -- former trustees Buddy Dallas and Alfred Bradley -- are resigning. The court will still look at claims involving them, but they both say they have never violated the trust of James Brown.

"In the contrary, I did everything I can to promote the name and legendary status of James Brown," says Dallas.

Cannon's attorney's suggested punishment: two weekends (Friday until Sunday) in jail, house arrest with a wrist band and a $20,000 check to the court to pay his way out of possible jail time.


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