NAACP confirms: Philly chapter's leaders suspended

J. Whyatt Mondesire, President of the NAACP of Philadelphia.

The NAACP's national headquarters just confirmed that four leaders of the Philadelphia chapter have been suspended from the organization.

The Philadelphia Tribune reported earlier today that the action resulted from a public feud about finances between local president J. Whyatt Mondesire and three 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 group said in a statement emailed to the Daily News. "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 immediately respond to questions about the suspensions.

"The NAACP national office shall not make any other public comments on this internal matter at this time," the 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 Rev. Gill Ford, the group's national director of unit compliance.

Ford, reached by telephone this afternoon, declined to comment.

The feud broke into the public when AxisPhilly first reported that Booker, Birts and Morris raised concerns about the handling of two checks worth a combined $10,500 that 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, written in the amount of $10,000, to a group of investors trying to win a casino license at Eighth and Market streets in Center City,

Mondesire was one of "four key African-American leadership groups" that endorsed the casino project on Nov. 19, according to the investors, Market East Associates.