Confederate Group’s Legal Fees Stand in Silent Sam Case

Allen Baddour Jr. ’93 (’97 JD), the judge who canceled the UNC System’s deal with the Sons of Confederate Veterans, ruled that legal fees the group incurred do not have to be returned. (File photo)

The return of $2.5 million given to the Sons of Confederate Veterans before the Silent Sam settlement was vacated will be a little more than $80,000 short. The same judge who canceled the UNC System’s deal with the Confederate group ruled on Wednesday that legal fees the group incurred do not have to be returned.

Members of the UNC System Board of Governors last year negotiated the future of the Confederate monument erected on the Carolina campus in 1913 with the SCV, which had filed a suit claiming its legal right to it. Before the suit became public, Allen Baddour Jr. ’93 (’97 JD), the resident Superior Court judge for Orange County, filed a consent judgment giving Silent Sam to the Confederate group. The judgment included establishment of a trust that gave the group $2.5 million, taken from the interest on the Chapel Hill campus endowment, to relocate and care for the monument.

Baddour vacated the settlement in February and gave the SCV 45 days to return the statue after research by UNC’s historian showed that the SCV did not legitimately acquire the statue and thus had no standing to bring its suit. The money was ordered returned; the SCV notified the judge that about $82,000 already had been spent on legal fees and taxes.

On Wednesday, Baddour ruled that the expenses were incurred “in effect pursuant to what appeared to be a lawful court order.” The expenses, he said, “are reasonable and appeared necessary at the time they were incurred.”

A trust set up to manage the $2.5 million payment will be dissolved, according to the order.

The statue remains the UNC System’s problem. Whether it could become Chapel Hill’s problem again is unknown. In late February, BOG Chair Randy Ramsey, disappointed with the most recent decision, said the board would focus on other issues and deal with the statue “in due course.” Dr. William Roper, the system’s interim president, vowed that Silent Sam would not return to the Chapel Hill campus. Roper’s time as interim president is scheduled to end in June, and a search is underway for a new president.


Comprehensive coverage of Silent Sam from the Carolina Alumni Review archives.

Where There Is No Silence


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