Ipson still ousted at Holocaust museum, vote rescheduled

Posted at 11:30 PM, Jul 09, 2012
and last updated 2012-07-09 23:31:09-04

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR)--Tonight the Virginia Holocaust Museum's Board of Trustees decided to postpone a special meeting that could have reinstated the ousted executive director Jay Ipson.

Ipson’s ousting is a controversy that's gotten a lot of attention over the last few weeks.

The rally to have Ipson reinstated as the Virginia Holocaust Museum’s President Emeritus, is taking on the looks of a presidential campaign.  “You should’ve been a politician,” one board member told Ipson when leaving the museum Monday.

Ipson said that it certainly feels like a campaign.  A survivor of the holocaust and co-founder of this museum, Ipson was stripped of his title by board chairman, Marcus Weinstein. “I need to pack up all of my stuff and be out of here by the end of the month,“ is what Ipson said he was told by Weinstein’s assistant.

Ipson said he and Weinstein didn’t agree on a lot of policy. For instance, Ipson thinks the museum should be free and didn’t want to charge admission. However, he said the board chairman thought differently.

“He needs to be here and he needs to be here officially,” says Board of Trustees member, Brett Zwerdling.  Zwerdling called on a special meeting to reinstate Ipson.  He said Weinstein does not have the authority to single-handedly force Ipson out.

"The museum is his story.  He is the story of the museum,” said Zwerdling.

After meeting for 15 minutes, the board decided to postpone its vote because the chairman who orchestrated Ipson’s ousting was not present. 

Ipson said it makes him feel, “lousy,” because he’s being forced to stand on the other side of the fence at the museum he built.  Ipson goes on to say that he believes the meeting was postponed because the chairman is looking for more time to convince the board to vote no. 

"When he wants it to happen, it'll happen the way he wants it to happen,” said Ipson.

Still, like any campaign, supporters plan to keep rallying until decision day. “To take him out of it is like removing the heart, “said one supporter. 

Zwerdling told CBS 6, based on the discussion at that closed-door meeting, he is confident Ipson will be reinstated.

The decision whether to reinstate Ipson as President Emeritus has been tabled to the regular board meeting July 26.