Jury finds Masons not guilty in case

Thursday December 16, 2010
Jury finds Masons not guilty in case
by Cheryl Caswell
Daily Mail staff

A jury has determined that the Masons did not defame or damage a former Grand Worshipful Master when they threw him out of the organization.

Frank Haas, 53, of Wellsburg filed a lawsuit against the Grand Lodge in Charleston and two members of the Masons hierarchy – Charlie Montgomery and Charles Coleman. Those two men succeeded Haas as state leader of the men’s brotherhood.

Haas claimed he suffered emotional distress after being unexpectedly expelled as a member in 2006, shortly after his term ended. He said other Mason leaders were unhappy that he attempted to change some of the group’s restrictions on race, age and disabilities.

But after more than a week of testimony from both sides, the jury decided against Haas on all counts.