Power struggle at the Fresno County Sportsmen's Club

Fresno County Sportsmens Club
March 18, 2014 12:00:00 AM PDT
Some members of the Fresno County Sportsmen's Club took a vote of action Tuesday night, the move in an ongoing power struggle between a group of club members and the board of directors.

Former Club member Steve Starcher is leading the effort to remove the current board members and take the club in a new direction. He claims Tuesday night's vote does just that.

"The members have voted," he said. "They've spoken and with overwhelming consensus, they want the sportsman's club to continue and they want it to become their club once again."

Nearly a hundred people attended Tuesday's meeting. They were current and former members that met at Valley Oak Elementary School. Many are unhappy with the current leadership and bylaws. They also say mismanagement has left the club open to a lawsuit.

Douglas Bowmen, the current President of the Fresno County Sportsmen's Club denies the accusations and calls the people that took part in the meeting and vote, rouge members.

"There are some disgruntled ex-members in there, who have been expelled from our club," he said. "And they're trying forming their own little club to take over the Sportsmen's club."

Some of the members met and voted on Feb. 27th, but Starcher says the vote had to be retaken because it fell short of meeting certain rules the first time. Starcher says Tuesday's meeting is by the book. They agreed to boot the club's current board members, and appoint new leaders and adopt new bylaws.

Bowman says that's not happening, and says the meeting is invalid.

"According to our attorney it's an illegal meeting, they're not going about it the right way," he said.

The club is also facing a lawsuit filed by its former care taker. He claims the club owes him thousands of dollars in pack pay and unpaid wages.

The lawsuit claims he worked and lived on the club's property since August of 2011. It says he worked 70 to 100 hours a week and was on call 24-hours to address maintenance and security issues for events held at the club.

"The current directors have not really acted in a responsible way," Starcher said. "I think there's a clear duties, they have not complied to a whole bunch of California laws."

"I'm not worried about (the lawsuit)," Bowman said, "I'm concerned about it, but it's going to take a couple years to resolve, and we'll just go through the motions."

Starcher says the current board has a few days to hand over the club; otherwise it could go to court.


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