Civil rights items, Mo­town ar­ti­facts at is­sue in bank­ruptcy

For­mer Rosa Parks lawyer to face judge over as­sets cred­i­tors say may have been hid­den

The Detroit News - - Front Page - BY ROBERT SNELL The Detroit News

Detroit — More than 100 pieces of civil rights mem­o­ra­bilia, Mo­town and African-Amer­i­can his­tory have dis­ap­peared and Rosa Parks’ lawyer should be jailed un­til the items are found, a bank­ruptcy lawyer claims.

The al­le­ga­tion emerged in the bank­ruptcy case of prom­i­nent Detroit at­tor­ney Gre­gory Reed, a case that features claims about man­sions with se­cret rooms, crates crammed full of his­tor­i­cal ob­jects and miss­ing ar­ti­facts. The miss­ing items in­cludes iron slave shack­les, an early draft of a Parks book, a cen­tury-old book signed by ed­u­ca­tor Booker T. Washington and gold records awarded to Mo­town artists in­clud­ing The Marvelettes.

Reed should be jailed un­til he re­veals the lo­ca­tion of the miss­ing prop­erty and re­turns the items, a lawyer for bank­ruptcy trustee Ken­neth Nathan wrote in a court fil­ing. If the prop­erty was sold, Reed should re­lin­quish the money, the lawyer ar­gues.

Reed also should be fined ev­ery day un­til he com­plies with court or­ders, ac­cord­ing to the trustee’s le­gal team.

Reed’s fate could be de­ter­mined Tues­day in a case that has pro­vided in­sight into the fi­nances of a down-on-his-luck lawyer who has been ac­cused of sell­ing a rare Rosa Parks item and treat­ing a non­profit de­signed to pre­serve his­tor­i­cal items as his per­sonal piggy bank.

“This per­son is al­ter­ing Amer­i­can his­tory,” Parks’ niece Rhea McCauley, 65, told The Detroit News. “Oh, my good­ness, this is so sad.”

The case dates to 2014, when Reed filed bank­ruptcy in Detroit. It was a stark re­ver­sal of for­tune for a Detroit lawyer who says his client list in­cluded singers Aretha

Jeff Kowal­sky AP

Rosa Parks sits in her home with lawyer Gre­gory Reed in 1994. To­day, a judge will consider a re­quest that Reed turn over miss­ing prop­erty.

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