Board members from NAACP leader's nonprofit sue to see the books

Posted: June 06, 2014

THE FINANCIAL fracas between local NAACP leader J. Whyatt Mondesire, who was ousted from that post last month, and a trio of former friends started with a $500 check written for the group's 2013 fundraising "gala."

Sid Booker, a board member of the NAACP and Next Generation Community Development Corp., a nonprofit Mondesire runs, wrote that check for the gala.

Booker later noticed the check was not listed in the NAACP's gala records and, according to filings in a lawsuit filed in Common Pleas Court, he could not get an explanation from Mondesire.

Booker checked with his bank and said he was surprised to see his check, along with a $10,000 check from a group of investors seeking a state casino license at 8th and Market, had been deposited in Next Generation's bank account instead of the NAACP account.

Booker, along with NAACP board members Donald "Ducky" Birts and the Rev. Elisha Morris, shared with in January their concerns and their request to the NAACP's national headquarters for a financial review of the relationship between the civil-rights group's local chapter and Next Generation.

The national headquarters responded to the public feuding by suspending Mondesire, along with Booker, Birts and Morris.

A lawyer for Booker, Birts and Morris wrote to Mondesire after the suspensions, asking to review Next Generation's books.

Morris and Birts also say they are Next Generation board members.

Mondesire wrote back, claiming the trio had resigned from Next Generation's board.

"The history of this saga strongly suggests that any response I make to you will be immediately made available to the news media," Mondesire wrote in closing his letter. "Anticipating that, I would appreciate it if you would advise your clients that they can go to that very hot place which is the opposite of heaven."

Instead, they went to Common Pleas Court, asking a judge to order Mondesire to open up Next Generation's financial records.

An attorney for Mondesire responded, calling the request unreasonable and an attempt "only to gain private information to further their efforts to have it publicized and to continue to embarrass themselves and the Philadelphia NAACP through the media."

Mondesire's lawyer also asked the judge to order Booker, Birts and Morris to pay his legal fees "as this is a wholly frivolous matter" and accusing them of running a "media circus."

A hearing is scheduled on this lawsuit Monday.

On Twitter: @ChrisBrennanDN


comments powered by Disqus