Court filing details how NAMB is hiding documents dating as far back as 2014 in a case involving alleged misconduct in 2017. What was NAMB doing in 2014 and why is it trying to hide it?
A Southern Baptist Convention entity is “intentionally withholding” materials during the discovery phase of a lawsuit, according to a bombshell new court filing. The latest filing in the case of McRaney v. NAMB details how the North American Mission Board (NAMB) of the Southern Baptist Convention appears to have failed to comply with discovery orders. McRaney’s attorneys asked the court to compel NAMB to comply as the case rapidly approaches the end of discovery (slated for December 31, 2022), and a trial date set for April 10, 2023. The court filing embedded at the end of the story.
“NAMB is intentionally withholding from production to Plaintiff several categories of discovery material responsive to Plaintiff’s discovery requests. For the reasons explained below, Plaintiff respectfully requests that the Court order NAMB to promptly produce these discovery materials,” the court filing argues.
Documents NAMB is allegedly withholding from McRaney include text messages and a range of documents that would include items given to NAMB trustees. As we reportedly earlier, some NAMB trustees appear to have been involved in what appears to be a series of concerted attacks on Will McRaney on behalf of NAMB President Kevin Ezell.
Involving trustee matters, McRaney’s lawyers assert, “It is clear at least some NAMB Trustees had documents responsive to Plaintiff’s discovery requests. Yet NAMB refuses to produce responsive documents from its Trustees—and NAMB appears to have taken no steps to preserve or collect them.”
The court filing then requests the court to compel NAMB to take action on the discovery request.
According to the filing, “Plaintiff requests an order directing NAMB to (i) describe, under oath, its efforts to preserve, collect and produce responsive documents from NAMB Trustees—or acknowledging and explaining its failure to do so, and (ii) immediately undertake the collection and production of responsive documents from NAMB Trustees, to be completed by a date selected by the Court.”
The court filing also claims NAMB is refusing to comply with other discovery requests too.
According to the court filing, “NAMB is flouting the Court’s Order by refusing to produce documents responsive to Request #7, which pertains directly to ‘the subject of the Defendant’s pending motion for partial summary judgment,’ and to NAMB’s four related affirmative defenses,” the filing argues.
And naturally you might ask, what is Request 7? According to court documents, Request 7 asked NAMB for “all documents in Your possession, custody or control mentioning, referring to, describing, or using, the phrase ‘supporting organization.’”
One interesting point that SBC Elites should examine is NAMB’s attempt to avoid discovery of items going all the way back to 2014.
That is odd given that the McRaney case involves actions in 2017.
What does NAMB have to hide back in 2014?
Are there documents that show that what NAMB did to McRaney was part of a concerted plan to destroy state conventions? Or, is there something else hiding in Kevin Ezell’s desk pigeon hole?
With discovery set to conclude with the end of the year, and a jury trial for April 2023, this case and its continuing revelations are likely to influence the next race for SBC President and the SBC’s Annual Meeting scheduled for New Orleans in June.