Ex-CIA Director, Family Settle Dispute
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ Former CIA Director Stansfield Turner and his daughter and son-in-law have settled a legal dispute that involved Turner’s will, the couple’s house and an alleged death threat by the daughter.
″This is a family matter,″ attorneys for both sides said in a statement announcing the out-of-court settlement reached Tuesday.
Under the agreement, the couple will buy the disputed house from Turner for an undisclosed amount.
Laurel Turner, 41, and her husband, Kim Armbruster, 33, have been living in the house in suburban Walnut Creek since 1982, but said they sold it to Ms. Turner’s father in 1984 for $145,000, its market price.
The couple said Turner, 62, who lives in McLean, Va., got tax benefits from the arrangement, rented the home back to them and promised to leave it to them in his will. Turner has denied making that promise.
The dispute stemmed from the summer of 1984, after Turner and his wife of 31 years, Patricia, had separated.
According to court documents, Laurel Turner wrote a letter to her father saying that if he went through with his divorce that September, and remarried within another year, ″I will take my share of our savings and put out a contract on you.″
Ms. Turner was later quoted as saying her father knew the death threat was ″ludicrous.″
But Turner, who married his secretary in early 1985, said he took it as a serious threat and wrote his daughter and son-in-law out of his will.
Ms. Turner and Armbruster filed suit, contending Turner had broken a binding promise and that they were entitled to the house. The suit was filed in Contra Costa County Superior Court and was later transferred to federal court.
Turner countersued, seeking to evict the couple and also seeking recovery of $35,000 he said he loaned his daughter in 1980.
Lawyers said the settlement will result in dismissal of both suits.
″The parties have resolved all issues related to the lawsuit,″ said John Kelly, representing the couple, and Frederick Baron, representing Turner.
Turner, a retired admiral who spent 33 years in the Navy, was director of the Central Intelligence Agency from 1977 to 1981 under President Jimmy Carter.