Next month’s trial over who should control the Maddox Foundation was shaping up to be merely the culmination of years of dreary legal haggling in a dispute over one wealthy couple’s estate. It suddenly became more interesting with the revelation last week of explosive claims that foundation chief Robin Costa had an affair with former Mississippi Governor Ronnie Musgrove — who is now part of the legal team that has billed $1 million worth of work to the foundation in the ongoing litigation.
But there’s more.
Legal observers suspect that the team trying to bring the organization’s assets back to Nashville — Davidson County District Attorney Torry Johnson along with Woody Woodruff and the rest of his Waller Landsen Dortch & Davis legal crew who represent Tommye Maddox Working, the step-granddaughter of the late Dan Maddox — would not have petitioned for the deposition containing the Musgrove claims to be unsealed if they did not intend to make Costa’s personal conduct a central issue in the upcoming trial, which gets underway on October 23.
And NashvillePost.com has learned that there is evidence in the public record of conduct by Costa, involving employees of the foundation, that makes the image of Governor Musgrove sucking her toes look positively quaint by comparison.
The evidence comes from a sexual harassment case against Costa that was settled out of court last year. Testimony in that case portrays Costa as having a prodigious appetite for amorous involvement with employees, painting a curious portrait of how she conducts business and handles employee relations. It’s a portrait that would seem to fit with Working’s claims that Costa has been cavalier in managing the foundation.
The Musgrove bombshell emerged after attorneys for Working got the testimony of Tara Hermansen unsealed in order to make the point that Costa was using foundation assets to pay an attorney with whom she’d allegedly had a personal relationship.