Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX


December 10, 2012

WHERE'S THE MONEY? Top Lon Morris officials were paid hundreds of thousands of dollars prior to bankruptcy proceedings, records show

Former LMC employees are outraged



Other parties in the bankruptcy proceedings have taken measures to shield themselves from fallout – even if employment is their only connection to the case. For instance, officials with AmeriBid, which has been hired as the Lon Morris bankruptcy estate's auction company, hired Dallas Attorney Michael J. Quilling to protect their interests.

"Because the sale was delayed, the anticipated expenses will exceed what was originally contemplated and approved," Quilling said. "We wanted to be sure the court and all parties understood that in connection with determining whether the sale should be delayed and that we would expect to be paid for the increased costs. I am being paid hourly by Ameribid out of their funds and not the estate. My representation has no financial impact on the estate."

Michelle Zenor, a former associate professor of English at LMC, isn't convinced Ragan understands that being a chief restructuring officer for a college is a much different process than for a business.

Zenor said while Ragan may be considered a relative expert in business dissolution, there is much about college bankruptcy she has failed to comprehend — such as when an academic institution declares bankruptcy it is no longer eligible for federal funds; that when the health insurance of employees has lapsed due to nonpayment, those individuals are ineligible for COBRA; that the thousands of dollars still owed to faculty who completed their contracts for the 2011-2012 academic year would be unsecured debt; and that restricted endowment monies cannot to be used at her discretion.

"Dawn Ragan is not only the last in a long line of incompetent administrators at LMC, she may be the last student to leave the campus," Zenor said.



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