NEAVS cleavage widens
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, November 1996:
BOSTON– –Overturning the New England Anti-Vivisection Society
board majority led by PETA cofounder Alex Pacheco, the Massachusetts Office
of the Attorney General on September 10 accepted the finding of NEAVS corporate
counsel Howard Mayo that longtime activist Theo Capaldo is the legal
NEAVS president-elect and that Irene Cruikshank, fired by the majority, is still
Capaldo was picked as successor to retiring president Cleveland
Amory, founder of the Fund for Animals, by a board nominating committee consisting
of Pacheco, treasurer Dick Janisch, Evelyn Kimber, and Laura Simon.
Fracturing the alliance of PETA and the Fund that took control of NEAVS in
1988, after a two-year campaign, Pacheco rejected the choice, backed by fellow
PETA cofounder Ingrid Newkirk, Physicians Committee for Responsible
Medicine president Neal Barnard, and activists Tina Brackenbush, Merry
Caplan, and Scott Van Valkenburg.
Capaldo was nonetheless expected to be confirmed by membership on
April 17, but an estimated 300 proxy ballots supporting her disappeared just
before the membership meeting. The Pacheco faction then ousted Cruikshank
and took over the day-to-day administration of NEAVS.
However, Fund secretary/treasurer Marian Probst told ANIMAL
PEOPLE, “Cleveland, Kimber, and Janisch escorted Irene back into the
NEAVS office,” six days after the Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General
ruling, “and Cleveland spoke to the staff and told them of the Mayo report conclusions.
Alex was not asked to leave, but immediately elected to do so.”
The Pacheco faction sued to retain control of NEAVS on September 24,
but the Suffolk County Court on October 7 rejected a September 27 motion to
again oust Cruikshank and put Pacheco back in charge.