ISAR, HSUS, Mercy Crusade lawsuits

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, April 1996:

The International Society for Animal Rights on February 28 sued founder and
recently deposed president Helen Jones along with her sometime driver Edward Woodyatt,
both of Clarks Summit, Pennsyvlania, for alleged fraud and conversion of ISAR assets to
personal gain. The bill of particulars against Jones includes 28 purported breaches of fiduciary
duties, involving misrepresentation of financial data, using ISAR funds to purchase alcohol,
abusive behavior toward staff, and bizarre personal conduct, paralleling the accounts
given by former staff in the October 1995 edition of ANIMAL PEOPLE.


Former Humane Society of the United States vice president for investigations
David Wills, fired in October 1995 and sued for allegedly embezzling $93,000, on
December 28, 1995 filed a countersuit against HSUS, HSUS president Paul G. Irwin, the
HSUS subsidiary Humane Society International, and three HSUS staffers who accused Wills
of sexual harassment. Wills denies the allegations against himself, accuses Irwin of not
keeping his end of a multi-party transaction involving a Corvette, claims the allegations of
sexual harassment including an accusation of rape were false, and asserts he was wrongfully
deprived of a promised promotion to head HSI. Wills further accuses Irwin of making false
statements to Canadian authorities in connection with a passport application. By coincidence,
a copy of the Wills suit reached ANIMAL PEOPLE the same day as a copy of the Humane
Society of Canada incorporation document, anonymously mailed by a person unknown, in
which the HSC board members are identified as Dominique Bellemare of Montreal, longtime
HSUS/HSI president John A. Hoyt, and Paul G. Irwin, listed as a resident of Brantford,
Ontario; his telephone is answered by a voice mail message from a “Gary Irwin.” Canadian
law requires that a majority of nonprofit board members
be either citizens or landed immigrants. The Paul
G. Irwin who heads HSUS is a resident of Maryland.
Longtime acquaintances say they have no information
indicating that he might be a Canadian citizen.
The California Attorney General
on February 23 sued four officers of the Van Nuysbased
animal protection group Mercy Crusade f o r
allegedly misappropriating $400,000, $173,000 of
which was spent on automatic weapons while
$130,000 went to maintenance of an airplane owned
by Mercy Crusade president James McCourt, and
toward financing for McCourt’s business dealings.
Along with McCourt, who is an economics professor
at Pepperdine University, defendants include Robert
Simoneau, Max Goar, and Marcia Horn.
Incorporated in 1949 to promote animal welfare, do
humane education, oppose cruelty, and oppose vivisection,
Mercy Crusade was noted in the 1970s for
promotion of low-cost neutering, but was little active
in recent years, after transitions of leadership, apart
from appointing 12 humane officers who under a since
amended law dating to 1915 were thereby allowed to
carry firearms. The law was changed after the L o s
Angeles Times revealed the weapons purchases in
January 1995.

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