Financial feud with ex-NAACP leader's former friends festers

Mondesire
Mondesire
Posted: August 20, 2014

FRIENDS-TURNED-FOES of former Philadelphia NAACP leader J. Whyatt Mondesire are still waiting for him to comply with a judge's order from two months ago to turn over financial records from a nonprofit he founded.

The trio - Sid Booker, Donald "Ducky" Birts and the Rev. Elisha Morris - were board members for Next Generation Community Development Corp. and served on the NAACP board.

So far, they have seen only financial details from one of Next Generation's bank accounts.

Gerald Egan, attorney for the trio, yesterday wrote a letter to the law firm representing Mondesire, raising several concerns.

They include:

* More than $540,000 has been deposited in the Next Generation bank account since 2007 but it now has a balance of just $17.

* Checks made out to the NAACP, totaling $309,980, were deposited in that bank account. That included checks from former Gov. Ed Rendell, U.S. Rep. Bob Brady, Walmart, Comcast and Independence Blue Cross.

* Mondesire wrote checks to "cash" or his own name for $70,168 from the bank account.

* Mondesire paid "at least $37,000" from the bank account to the Philadelphia Sunday Sun, a newspaper he owns.

Philadelphia Common Pleas Judge Gary Glazer on June 11 ordered Mondesire to turn over financial information by June 17.

"If Mr. Mondesire desires to continue to keep his head buried in the sand, please notify me of that so contempt proceedings can be initiated," Egan wrote.

Thomas Kenny, an attorney at the law firm now representing Mondesire, said the former NAACP leader "categorically denies all allegations alleged and implied" in Egan's letter.

Kenny said the case should have been heard in Orphans' Court, another division of the First Judicial District, and may need to be moved to a different jurisdiction because of Mondesire's long record of involvement in the community and recent stories in the news media about the spat.

Kenny also claimed Booker, Birts and Morris lacked standing as nonprofit board members because they had been "thrown off the board" before they sued.

Glazer considered and dismissed that argument in June.

The dispute began when Booker complained about a $500 check he wrote for an NAACP event being deposited instead in a Next Generation bank account.

He found that deposit included a $10,000 check to the NAACP from a group of investors seeking a state casino license at 8th and Market streets in Center City.

The feud went public this year in a series of stories on the now-defunct AxisPhilly.com website.

The NAACP's national headquarters suspended Mondesire, Booker, Birts and Morris in April because of the public feuding.

The Daily News reported in June that investigators from the state Attorney General's Office said a 2009 grand-jury probe "uncovered what appeared to be questionable spending" of state money by Mondesire after Next Generation's bank records were subpoenaed.

Documents obtained by the Daily News showed that results of that probe were being reviewed earlier this year by the Attorney General's Office.


On Twitter: @ChrisBrennanDN

Blog: ph.ly/PhillyClout.com

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