National Arts Club former prez agrees to $950K settlement

July 10, 2013 09:00AM

O. Aldon James, the disgraced former president of the National Arts Club, agreed to pay $950,000 to settle claims that he ran the storied institution at 15 Gramercy Park South for his benefit, according to the New York state attorney general’s office.

The settlement culminates an 18-month investigation that found James, his twin brother, John James, and friend Steven Leitner had held rent at below-market rates on more than a dozen spaces at the club, including apartments and offices, so they could store art and other items that they allegedly bought with club funds.

The attorney general’s office found that “James’s use of NAC assets for his own benefit and failing to properly administer and maximize the NAC real estate,” was a “breach of fiduciary duty,” according to a draft of the settlement obtained by DNAinfo.

“[The] settlement allows the club to close the door on years of bitter discord and start to recover from the havoc that Aldon James and his cohorts wrought,” Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in a statement.

Attorneys for the club and James did not respond to DNAinfo’s requests for comment.

In May, a city housing court judge ordered the James brothers and Leitner to vacate their apartments by July 31, as The Real Deal reported. [DNAinfo]  – Hiten Samtani