Conflicts with the administration of the Korean American Association of Greater New York – a nonprofit organization serving 500,000 Korean-Americans living in the Tri-State area – culminated this week with the impeachment of Board President Sung K. Min.
The infighting developed after a new challenger, Ms. Minsun Kim, paid a $100,000 candidacy fee, with the intention of running against Min.
This story originally appeared in the April 2, 2015 edition of the Queens Tribune.
Sources close to Kim said the organization’s bylaws were allegedly changed to ban campaigning before an official candidacy announcement. The sources added that the laws were retroactive, thus disqualifying Kim. Also according to the bylaws, 30 dues-paying members must be in attendance in order to hold a quorum to elect new leadership. According to sources, there were only 23 members in attendance at the January meeting when the election was due to occur, so Min continued to be president without a vote.
As a result, Kim hired attorney Jerry Goldfeder to fight the case in court. In response, members of the Former Presidents Advisory Committee of KAAGNY announced they would be holding a meeting on Tuesday night to vote on the impeachment of President Min and the current Board Chairman.
In an attempt to delay the impeachment hearing, Min’s attorney issued an “order to show cause” with the State Supreme Court on Monday. In the complaint, Min’s lawyers requested the court issue a temporary restraining order and injunction against Former Presidents Advisory Committee Chairman Andrew Sokchu Kim and 12 other committee members.
“Mr. Min has brought a lawsuit in Supreme Court, improperly using outside authorities to support his indefensible actions at KAAGNY” Goldfeder said in an email. “Ms. Kim will continue to defend herself, the membership and the integrity of Korean Americans.”
The Supreme Court denied Min’s request to dismiss the impeachment hearing and on Tuesday evening, the Former Presidents Advisory Committee voted to impeach the incumbent president Tuesday night. The ousted leader, however, was defiant.
“The meeting was illegal,” Min responded. “We have to go to court.”
Min’s attorney John Lovi called the decision “sophomoric.”
“President Min plans on running the association according to the bylaws, until the court tells me otherwise.”