NEW YORK (AP) -- New York's Attorney General has filed a lawsuit accusing the former president of the National Arts Club of using the institution's resources to finance a luxurious and eccentric lifestyle.

The suit followed 15 years of legal battles between the longtime club president, O. Aldon James, and club members who forced him out last year.

State investigators say James got the club to pay for $250,000 in personal expenses, including $20,000 in restaurant charges and $52,600 in limousine bills.

The suit also says James used club money to buy vast quantities of items at flea markets and thrift shops, which he then stashed at the club.

James' lawyer, Gerald Shargel, calls the lawsuit frivolous.

The club's mission is to stimulate interest in the arts. Members have included Mark Twain, Teddy Roosevelt and Martin Scorsese.