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The $86,000 Question, Part 2
Subj:     The $86,000 Question, Part 2 (Minneapolis NAACP branch)
Date:     3/18/2005 4:03:58 PM Central Standard Time
From:     Socialist2001 (Doug Mann)

The Beginning of Public Agitation for a Financial Audit, regime change in the Minneapolis NAACP branch

In a 5 page letter to Minneapolis NAACP branch members dated October 28, 2002, Minneapolis NAACP branch president Shalia M. Lindsey stated,

"It was quite disheartening to read the inflammatory articles [published in the Spokesman-recorder] that are riddled with untruths and accusatory statements toward the association and its current leadership..."

One of the Spokesman recorder articles to which Ms. Lindsey refers states,

The October 4 letter to the National NAACP described in the first part of this story [Critics call Mpls NAACP weak, secretive, invisible] requests intervention by the National Office regarding the audit problem. It states, ''...In the last two years, the general membership has requested information regarding an audit. Each year, there has been no information given to the general membership and to the executive committee monthly meetings regarding an audit. Monthly treasurer's reports have been sporadic and not in line with the reporting procedures established by the...NAACP Constitution and By-Laws. In addition, the Branch's secretary has failed to record any audit information in the official minute files.''
- NAACP Branch secrecy invites suspicion, by Isaac Peterson, III - 10/25/2002

Lindsey's response (28 Oct. 2002 letter)

"There is no indication that the treasurers' reports, finance committee reports, the executive committee or the membership of malfeasance. The articles said that there were concerns going back to the 80s. In fact to address those "concerns," the branch paid $28,000 for an extensive audit in 1998. The audit did not find the alleged "concerns" or any malfeasance, yet the same people raise the same issues again. We have discussed the issue with our regional office and the 2002 audit will cover the years 2001 and 2002. If at that time any problem is discovered it will be reported to the NAACP national office."

The audit for 2001 and 2002 mentioned by Ms. Lindsey didn't happen. The financial report brought to the membership in January 2003 was labeled a "cash review." That cash review indicated that $86,000 was missing from a couple of Piper Jaffrey / US Bank accounts, as I noted in "The $86,000 Question (Minneapolis NAACP branch)." An audit for 2001 and 2002 is still needed to determine what happened to the missing $86,000.  

And there were in fact some "concerns" raised in the 1998 audit report. In a feature new article in City Pages, Black Like Us, Beth Hawkins writes
"...According to a preliminary copy of the review obtained by City Pages, the accountant hired by Seals found a number of "undocumented" transactions in the group's books for 1995. The report does not say whether the errors suggest anything more than simple oversight; no one at the NAACP will discuss the document.

"Among the questions raised by the Hudson, Wisconsin-based firm, Wipfli Ullrich Bertelson, was why a deposit of $70,000--money the city had been ordered to pay the NAACP for its Hollman-related legal fees--showed up on the group's bank records, but was not accounted for in the treasurer's reports. The auditors also noted that the treasurer's records did not reflect a $20,000 contribution and a $10,000 loan made to a nonprofit headed by Richard Jefferson and Phyllis Harvin. The group raised funds for a memorial to former NAACP national director and Twin Cities native Roy Wilkins.

"According to Paul Mandell of the Capitol Area Architectural Committee and Planning Board, which oversaw the construction of the memorial, the $20,000 donation was received. Mandell says he has no record of a $10,000 loan, but he says the NAACP spent about that much on a dedication ceremony for the memorial in 1995. Mandell's records do show a $92,000 loan was made to the memorial committee by the Minnesota Nonprofits Assistance Fund, and that the check was mailed to Harvin at the NAACP's Minneapolis office. A spokesman for the fund says he doesn't recall any loan being made to the memorial committee." - Black Like Us, by Beth Hawkins

The spokesman article, NAACP Branch secrecy invites suspicion, reports

"We have obtained an NAACP Treasurer's Report for November 2000 that shows a Branch balance of $87,144.49. This, however, apparently does not include a $50,000 endowment that was made as far back as 1996. By the NAACP by-laws, endowments first become the property of the National NAACP, and are then disbursed to the branch. Some NAACP members allege that the National office disbursed a $57,000 check, but that the funds were deposited into a personal account owned by Secretary Barbara Bearman, where it drew interest for several months. - NAACP Branch secrecy invites suspicion, by Isaac Peterson, III - 10/25/2002

Lindsey's Response: "The Branch received a bequest that was sent directly to the National Office as required by NAACP policy. The article mislabeled this money. It was only with the current administration's persistence and perseverance that the Branch finally received its portion of the bequest with interest in the amount of $57,625.33 from the National Office in August of 2001. The full amount of the bequest was directly deposited in the Branch checking account on September 4, 2001. At no time were the funds deposited into the personal account of the Branch Secretary"

However, the Spokesman-Recorder stood by its story about funds being deposited into the personal account of the Branch Secretary.

Also see Critics call Mpls NAACP weak, secretive, invisible, by Isaac Peterson, III - 10/17/2002

Next installment (The $86,000 Question, part 3): Gag orders, and the first steps toward the suspension of Ron Edward, Al Flowers, and Evelyn Eubanks from the NAACP.
-Doug Mann, King Field
Member, Minneapolis NAACP Branch Executive Committee