THE NAACP's national headquarters has suspended four leaders of the Philadelphia chapter who have been engaged in a public feud about finances.
The Philadelphia Tribune reported yesterday the suspensions of local president J. Whyatt Mondesire and board members Sid Booker, Donald "Ducky" Birts and the Rev. Elisha Morris.
"The national NAACP has concluded its inquiry into the matters pertaining to the Philadelphia NAACP unit," the 105-year-old civil-rights group said in a statement yesterday. "As a result, four members of the unit have been suspended."
The statement goes on to say the suspended members have a right to appeal the action.
The four board members did not respond to requests for comment yesterday.
"The NAACP national office shall not make any other public comments on this internal matter at this time," the group's statement concluded.
The Tribune story said letters informing the members of the suspensions were signed by interim NAACP president and CEO Lorraine Miller and referenced the Rev. Gill Ford, the group's national director of unit compliance.
Ford, reached by telephone yesterday, declined to comment.
The feud broke into the public when AxisPhilly.org first reported that Booker, Birts and Morris raised concerns about the handling of two checks worth a combined $10,500. They were supposed to be deposited into a local NAACP bank account but instead were deposited into the account of another organization founded by Mondesire in 1999.
Mondesire told the Daily News this week that he mailed an accounting of what happened with one of the checks, in the amount of $10,000, to its issuer, Market East Associates, a group of investors trying to win a state casino license.
Mondesire represented one of "four key African-American leadership groups" that in November endorsed the group's casino project, proposed for 8th and Market streets in Center City, according to a news release from the investors.