Eight children of Ray Charles are fighting an effort to take back a $3 million (euro2.18 million) gift from the music legend to a Georgia university.
In a letter, the children challenge the standing of attorney Ivan Hoffman to represent Charles’ estate.
Hoffman and Charles’ former manager, Joe Adams, say they are considering legal action against Albany State University because a proposed performing arts center to be named for the musician has not been built six years after the donations were made.
The university maintains that the donations were unrestricted.
“Ray Charles would be outraged by your threats to rescind the gifts he made, through his Foundation, to Albany State University,” the children said in a letter dated Monday.
Charles was born in Albany on Sept. 23, 1930. He gave the south Georgia institution two financial gifts: $1 million (euro730,000) in 2001 and $2 million (euro1.45 million) in 2002 after he received an honorary doctorate from the college.
Although architectural renderings of the building have been drawn and a site has been selected on campus, construction has not started.
Hoffman said he has been authorized by Adams to pursue legal action in civil court against Albany State.
Charles died of acute liver disease on June 10, 2004, at the age of 73.
On the Net:
Albany State University: http://www.asurams.edu
Ray Charles Online: http://www.raycharles.com
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