Sexual abuse lawsuits filed in California last week could throw a wrench into annexation discussions between the city of Kalona and Shiloh Church.
Three women filed suits alleging years of sexual abuse by leadership and members of The Living Word Fellowship, the former parent organization of Shiloh.
Irwin Zalkin, the attorney for the three plaintiffs, said his team is currently in the process of tracing assets of The Living Word Fellowship.
“Whatever they’ve transferred, we’ll file lawsuits for fraudulent conveyance,” Zalkin said.
Because the fellowship, not Shiloh, was named in the lawsuits, Shiloh Director Ron Caquelin does not expect the suits will have any impact on Shiloh’s talks with the city.
“The civil suits filed in California do not include Shiloh and do not have any impact on the annexation or other property discussions with the city of Kalona,” Caquelin said Friday.
Zalkin sees it differently.
“(Shiloh) doesn’t need to be a defendant for us to recover a judgment against it,” Zalkin said.
Zalkin said he was aware of the discussions between the city of Kalona and Shiloh, adding that he would be sending an official letter to the city about the lawsuits and pursuit of The Living Word Fellowship’s assets.
“This is not a clean deal for them,” Zalkin said.
Kalona City Administrator Ryan Schlabaugh said Monday that the city received the notice from Zalkin’s office on Friday.
“The city’s attorney has been put on notice,” Schlabaugh said.
He added that discussions between the city and Shiloh about annexation and the transfer of some assets to the city will continue.
“We’re still in discussions and working through the public process,” he said. “We’ve asked the attorneys to weigh in where it stands.”
To read more, please subscribe or pick up a paper.