TYLER – A Texas federal judge has approved a pre-holiday distribution of $130,000 for more than 100 former employees of Lon Morris College who were unpaid for their final weeks of work when the school filed for bankruptcy protection earlier this year.
In a ruling announced today during a courtroom hearing in Tyler, the Hon. Bill Parker of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Texas approved the payment for former employees requested by estate chief restructuring officer Dawn Ragan of Bridgepoint Consulting in Dallas.
The bankruptcy estate is represented by Houston lawyer Hugh Ray III of McKool Smith.
The 158-year-old Methodist college, Texas’ oldest junior college, filed for bankruptcy protection in July.
“We are extremely pleased that the court is allowing this deserving group of former Lon Morris College employees to receive a paycheck before the holidays,” says Ms. Ragan, who negotiated the payment with representatives from the Nashville-based United Methodist Higher Education Foundation.
“We are working hard to increase the estate’s value and make sure that every employee receives all the wages they’re owed. This is a positive step in the right direction.”
Ms. Ragan says the $130,000 will be distributed to 138 former Lon Morris College employees beginning tomorrow.
A day before approving the payment for former employees, Judge Parker also approved the remainder of a $500,000 loan requested in early December by Ms. Ragan and Mr. Ray to help complete the bankruptcy process.
A scheduled auction of Lon Morris assets is set for Jan. 14 in Dallas.
The auction will include approximately 50,000 square feet of academic lecture halls, dormitory buildings, a technology center, a gymnasium, and fields for football, baseball and other sports.
A detailed auction listing is online at http://www.ameribid.com/upcoming-auctions/auction-detail/?id=192730. Tulsa, Oklahoma-based AmeriBid is coordinating the auction based on prior approval by the bankruptcy court.