Suspended Phila. NAACP board members take Mondesire to court

Posted: May 03, 2014

Continuing a public dispute that has embroiled the Philadelphia NAACP, two board members this week filed a petition to obtain financial records for a nonprofit controlled by the local chapter's president.

Sid Booker and the Rev. Elisha Morris, the board members, and J. Whyatt Mondesire, the president, were suspended last month by the national office of the NAACP pending an internal review of the dispute. A third board member, Donald Birts, also was suspended.

In the petition, filed in Common Pleas Court, Booker and Morris argue that they have a right to review the documents because they are board members of the nonprofit, Next Generation Community Development Corp.

Specifically, they want to see records related to two donations to the NAACP: $500 from Booker, and $10,000 from Market East Associates, one of five entities trying to secure the second gaming license in the city.

The board members' petition was posted Thursday by the news website AxisPhilly.

In a column in his weekly newspaper, the Philadelphia Sunday Sun, Mondesire wrote that $5,000 went to a program for youth academic achievement. Other funds went to restore gas service at the NAACP's offices. The remaining money was kept for building expenses.

Attached to the petition was a written request directed at Mondesire for the financial records and his written response, dated April 20, to the board members' two attorneys, Gerard P. Egan and Isaac H. Green.

Mondesire called Booker and Morris former board members of the nonprofit who should have kept copies of the financial records, and if they did not, "they were derelict in their duties."

Mondesire concluded the letter by asking the lawyers to advise the board members that "they can go to that very hot place which is the opposite of heaven."


bmoran@phillynews.com215-854-5983 @RobertMoran215

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