The Krewe of Bacchus is headed to court, but it doesn't involve celebrity monarchs. After dues were increased by $450 this year on promises to move toward buying a parade den of their own, a group of Krewe of Bacchus members is looking to review the famed Carnival krewe's finances. A group of five Bacchus members sued the superkrewe's leadership recently in an attempt to force the captains to open their financial records, according to court documents.
The legal action, which names Brennan's Restaurant owner and Bacchus Captain Owen "Pip" Brennan Jr. and his son Owen Brennan III, claims that Bacchus must allow krewe members to inspect financial documents under state law.
The group that filed the lawsuit, which did not return a request for comment Tuesday, are seeking to review the financials after krewe dues spiked 96 percent in the last five years, according to postings on a Facebook page called Save the Krewe of Bacchus. According to the group, dues rose from $1,000 to $1,450 in the last year.
The krewe members argue that under state law, Bacchus – as a domestic corporation in Orleans Parish – must allow for shareholders to inspect their records. The krewe members say they haven't been allowed to look at the financials.
Bacchus has cited plans to buy their own den with the money. But the group says it's not entirely about the money.
"…the increase in dues is a concern but not the REAL problem. There are too many people making $$$ and enjoying a lot of free perks and parties from the Members dues," a post on the Facebook page says. "If this parade was run like other parades, we could keep the dues the same and buy the den and have a great ride. We need a change in the structure and culture at the top…"
The group who sued includes Michael E. Botnck, Julian G. Baudier, Jr., Robert A. Kutcher, Brent B. Barriere, and D Skylar Rosenbloom. A court hearing in the matter is scheduled for August 16. The case is assinged to Judge Chris Bruno in Civil District Court.