A judge in Pennsylvania has issued a blistering attack on the board of the Hershey Trust, which this summer tried to sell its controlling stake in the US candy maker.

Dauphin County Orphans Court Judge Warren Morgan accused Trust board members of being “distant and disconnected from the charitable interests they serve”. In a written opinion dated yesterday [Wednesday], Morgan added: “It appears that many of the directors/managers, whatever their skills or however well-intentioned their efforts, have become detached from that philanthropic scheme [inspired by Trust founder Milton Hershey].”

Morgan also called for the US$5.5bn Trust to be “reconstituted,” although he did not specify in which way. The judge also ordered the Trust to give “prompt written notice” to the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office of any intention to sell the controlling stake, a move requested by that office, reported Reuters.

Certain parties that vociferously opposed the sale plans are still baying for blood. The alumni association of the 1200-student Milton Hershey School for underprivileged children (the sole beneficiary of the Trust) is hoping to see the managers of the Trust removed. Alumni association president Ric Fouad said the association is hiring accountants to go through the Trust’s accounts with a fine toothcomb in search of irregularities.

Judge Morgan did not, however, go so far as to order the dismissal of board members.

Hershey Food today reported its Q3 results. To read a story on the results, just-food members click here.