August 20, 2010

NAACP leaders plan to spend $500 investigating leak to RacinePost

Update: The Racine NAACP may spend $500 investigating who released information to RacinePost alleging misuse of funds and abuse of power within the organization.

The organization's Executive Committee voted to spend the money Thursday night in a private meeting, according to a participant at the meeting. The money would be spent on investigative services to find out who accused the committee of inappropriate behavior, the insider said.

The measure now goes to the general membership meeting on Aug. 28 for final approval.

No discussion was held Thursday night about whether any of the accusations were true or deserved further investigation. The committee was only interested in who sent a report to RacinePost with the allegations of misconduct.

"We wish we could say we were surprised, but we are not," said the insider.

Original post: The Racine NAACP's Executive Committee met behind closed doors Thursday night to address allegations of financial mismanagement and abuse of power reported last week on RacinePost.

Local Branch President Michael Shields, and other committee members, refused to comment after the meeting. He only asked RacinePost to reveal their sources for the detailed story that laid out NAACP insiders' concerns about the organization. We refused to reveal sources of the story.

The committee met at the Urban League of Racine and Kenosha, 718 N. Memorial Drive, for about two hours. Media was asked to leave at the start of the meeting.

About 20 people attended the meeting. According to the Racine NAACP website, Executive committee members include: Joseph Mitchell, Janet Mitchell, Beverly Hicks, Corinne Owens,  Keith Fair, Robert Turner, Pastor Elliott Cohen, Jacqueline Pinager, Lawrence Terry, Lillie Jones, Lillie Cameron, Connie Cobb Madsen, Maggie Cobb, Betty Williams, Grice Williams, George Stinson, Robert Turner and Craig Oliver.

Following the meeting, Shields said the committee did not discuss a controversial NAACP report, but simply said "no comment" to any questions about what was discussed.

Our story last week documented a series of internal charges against Shields and other organization leaders over management of the local NAACP. Insiders accused Shields of improperly taking a $950 reimbursement for travel to a conference, missing money from a recent fundraiser, and a lack of financial reporting to the general membership.

Insiders also say the state and regional offices of the NAACP have not taken their concerns seriously, which is why they released a report to the media.

The NAACP's general membership meeting is Aug. 28 at the John Bryant Center.

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  1. The NAACP IMHO needs to remove Keith Fair,Craig Oliver,and Michael Shields, at once or all the members will be thought of as the same time of thugs.
    Please local NAACP take back your group!

  2. Dissolve this archaic group. I thought we were trying to rid this country of these race based groups. Why don't we work on the advancement of all people here.

  3. I heard Bob Turner is going to make a run for mayor next spring. Wonder how the public will feel about this after learning he is on the NAACP executive committee with this situation going on.

  4. Sounds like a Turner campaign meeting to me.

  5. 8:55/9:00 AM = the last two Mayor John "Ethics anyone" Dicker supporters.
    Bob will clean up the NAACP and toss the bums out. Thinking like Jesus and the Money Lenders should he run for Mayor he would win and open an investigation into the real estate games

  6. Turner is as bad as the rest of them if this was going on and he did nothing about it.

  7. What a complete disappointment. The NAACP leadership has been exposed as crooks and what do they do about it? Nothing.

    It makes me wonder if there are not more members involved in this cover-up. What do these guys have on them that they can just get away with cheating and intimidation?

    Once the good people have been chased away the money is as good as gone!

  8. If Bob Turner is part of the NAACP running out of control and not truly representing the community it was designed to promote, how can he run a city?

  9. To past NAACP Presidents George Stinson, Beverly Hicks and Morris Reece:

    I remember as a kid playing with my Grandmother's wallet and seeing her membership card to the NAACP in one of the photo windows. She was proud to be a member. I don't know if your life's work was the success of the NAACP or if it was just a rung on a ladder on the way up for you. But as past Presidents you still have a responsibility and "no comment" from the present President will not do.

    Money is missing or at the least unaccounted for. Leaders are releasing divisive reports that are tearing apart our community and serving their own personal needs without the approval of the members. People are being abused and intimidated and maybe some of them are you.

    Your silence and inaction make you accomplices.

    Bob Turner:
    You are on the Executive Committee. You are nowhere to be found. You are now an accomplice.

    As Craig Oliver said himself the criminal activity goes back 10 years and there are records to prove it. I want answers. I want action.

  10. TURNER'S RUNNING FOR MAYOR????? I thought he was running for state representative. What's going on here?

  11. Craig Oliver didn't get the "No Comment" memo:

    "This is Craig Oliver Sr.

    Speaking for myself, and a 20 year member and worker in the NAACP I am so very happy that this WHOLE MATTER has now broken into the open similar to the Milwaukeee situation. It merely saddens me that like Milwaukee, these same people will/have proved the only side of the truth that they want heard, and we all know that there is two sides to ever situation.I bear no bad feelings towards those who do not like me and take part in name calling. BUT, now that as the old song says evrythings out in the open, then lets peel the whole ugly mess down to the ceriminal elements of our so called good but afraid board members. Lets tell the community about the criminal cover ups and the mismanagement of funds for the last ten(10) years ( all of the records are available ) and the same behaviors. We should not throw rocks when we live in glass house. Peace to all the haters."

    Yes, Craig do tell the community about the criminal cover ups and mismanagement of funds.

  12. Can someone tell me what Turner's middle name is?

  13. It's all so sad. I can't say much about Shields or Oliver, but I know that Keith Fair is a conman. You can't lie about recovery to someone in recovery, Keith. You insult us by even trying. We see right through your flimflam, and if you were truly in recovery you would understand why.

    People like that do so much damage because the racists will jump on any opportunity to tear the NAACP down. How do monsters/traitors like this evolve? How do you sell the suffering of millions for personal profit? I just don't understand "people" like that. I don't even consider them human.

  14. Bob Turner is planning to "double dip". He attempted this last spring with his run for mayor while holding State Assembly seat. Now his State Assembly seat is being challenged. His constituents need to pay close attention to his history and vote according to he who best will serve them.

  15. So Bob Turner paid money to Craig Oliver during is race for mayor and Shields and Fair have all worked on his behalf. What's his role in all of this? Does he know or does he not care?

  16. Hey DeMatthew campaign, Corinne Owens is also on the Executive Committee. Did you want to accuse her of not caring?

    No need for Bob Turner to jump into this mess.

  17. WTF? This is the action they took?! The people who are accused of wrongdoing are spending branch money to investigate who accused them?!

    I have now seen everything. Dustin, don't tell these d-bags a thing! And thank you to the people who are trying to keep the NAACP clean.

    Now give me my god d#mn membership money back!

  18. Tim the Shrubber8/20/2010 12:13 PM

    "The Racine NAACP may spend $500 investigating who released information to RacinePost alleging misuse of funds and abuse of power within the organization."

    Don't snitch, huh?

  19. Wow. Just wow. That will teach 'em from telling the truth about what is going on. If it was anyone else but Shields, Oliver and Fair - I wouldn't believe it.

    What is wrong with the rest of these people?

  20. Take this any way you want ... it is meant as a observation, but I am sure people will try to read something into that isn't there.
    African Americans are all too often their own worst enemy.

  21. I like the J-T input on this issue please do not call the BS story this morning input.

  22. "Welcome to the NAACP. The first rule of the NAACP is: you do not talk about the NAACP. The second rule of the NAACP is: you DO NOT talk about the NAACP!"

  23. Isn't Keith Fair a private investigator? Well they should just give him the money and he can investigate. I'm sure his findings will be unbiased. Perhaps he will discover a systematic racist plot within the NAACP itself!

    Seriously. Are there no reasonable people in the NAACP who can put an end to this not stop self-embarrassment?

  24. This matter appears to mirror the fraud uncovered at the Urban League a number of years ago. It was the same story - who is the leak - not the fraud itself.

  25. Yolanda Adams of the urban league is the state secretary to Tom White of the NAACP. He's been actively covering up for Shields

  26. Hopefully the local branch can work out their problems. Sure are a lot of haters judging by the comments. Then again 33% of Republicans think that Obama is a Muslim - ignorance and hate go hand in hand.

  27. Reality=hate?

  28. Shields is more concerned who contacted the Post than he is reveiling the issues and taking appropriate actions.

  29. Anonymous One8/20/2010 4:08 PM

    Anonymous 3:57 - this is CORRUPTION at its finest. This isn't something to be "worked out2" by the local branch members - this is something that needs to be investigated by an outside source and possibly charges brought against certain individuals.

  30. The only haters are people who use and abuse good people and a once great group. Tryng to steal money and intimidate those who would stop you is a hateful thing. Shields, Oliver and Fair need to resign!

  31. How much you want to bet they spend the $500 on well known private investigator Keith Fair?

  32. So some members try to stop abuses in the organization. They contact the state and finally in desperation go to the press and the "leaders" they have shown to be crooked-instead of resigning- put out a hit on them. I guess they are offering $500 to anyone who will rat them out. No wonder they did it anonymously!

    I'd like to know which one of the people listed above voted for the hit job. Whoever you are please resign along with the 3 stooges who started this mess.

  33. The decision to investigate the accuser instead of the accusations is a faulty one. If the Executive Committee truly believed that the accusations were not accurate, then, to save the reputation of the NAACP, they should have proven that by committing the $500 to an internal investigation. Instead, they chose to make a move that makes it look like they are just protecting Shields, Fair and Oliver. I'm not sure if they are all in cahoots with these three or simply duped by them, but either way it is clear that the leadership of the NAACP is no longer operating at a level that is beneficial for the organization.

  34. The NAACP is a quality organization. Its the people in it that just bad news.

    If you think this is bad. Think of Turner as Mayor would be.

  35. An NAACP Member8/21/2010 9:53 AM

    This is a Community Blog. A majority of the posters are not members of the NAACP. You have been duped because the e-mails were edited. You have no idea what is going on internally with this organization nor do most of you care. Sensationalism is the American way these days. Let's all be the judge and jury when the facts are unknown. $500 unaccounted for from a banquet a year ago is the Treasurer's fault. I will vote no on spending $500 to find $500. The Treasurer does not use any type of accounting software, Excel, or Open Office he uses pen and paper. His reports are handwritten. For all of you who are so interested in this non-story please attend the next membership meeting on August 28th at 10A.

  36. Also a NAACP Member8/21/2010 10:44 AM

    Non story?

    -Why did the President take a check from the treasurer against his will?
    -Why did the President bring in Penny Sharp to make a motion that he should get $950 after the members voted no?
    -Why does the President withhold minutes from members which prove their votes?
    -Why does the President allow people to resign and then bring them back into their positions as if they never resigned?
    -Why did the President videotape community leaders at an illegal meeting without their permission?
    -Why does the President hold emergency meetings without proper notice?
    -Why does the President remove members of the press from meetings even though NAACP meetings are open to the public?
    -Why did the President lie to the press that the Downtown Report was released early when he already knew Keith Fair had given to Ken Lumpkin?
    -Why does the President tell the public that Craig Oliver is the Community Coordinator when his nomination was never voted on by the membership.
    -Why does the President allow reports and meetings to take place using the NAACP name when they were never known or approved by the membership?
    -Why has the President failed to account for all funds from both the Swanson Roast and freedom Fund Dinner after he was asked repeatedly to do so?
    -Why does the President allow Craig Oliver to verbally abuse members in person and in written form? (The list of people who have received threatening Oliver manifestos is legendary)
    -Why is the President so keen to make sure the $100,000 Freedom Fund is available to him to use as he wishes even though the membership has repeatedly voted against it?

    The people who post here would know a lot more about what is happening internally if Mike Shields would allow the press to attend meetings instead of having Craig Oliver throw them out.

  37. Also a NAACP Member8/21/2010 11:34 AM

    Oh and one other thing-

    -Why when presented with a mountain of questions about money, behavior and policy is the only response from the President to offer a $500 hit on whoever asks those questions?

    Nothing to see here folks, just keep moving along.

    God bless America and no comment.

  38. It looks like the office holders all the way up take $$ for their own use? Thus, how is one supposed to clean this all up when so many may have their hands in others' pockets? What a mess.

    This 500 fee for investigating, how would one even begin to spend that? How would anyone even begin to scratch the surface?

    How many come to the general membership meetings.

    How can someone withhold minutes for gosh sake?

  39. NAACP member 9:53 AM - If all accusations being made are untrue & emails have been altered then hire an investigator to prove everything is in order and also have an outside audit done. That is the only way the NAACP can get any credibility or respect back. At the moment you are a laughing stock, and posting here stating the report is completely falsified and making lame excuses about financial software does not help - it makes it look more and more like a coverup.
    With the amount of money in NAACP's account and the possible criminal activity involved, shouldn't the Feds be getting involved in this?

  40. Unbelievable - Shields and company are more concerned about who turned them in, rather than fixing the problem, which is RESIGN!

  41. The Executive Committee is made up of Shields and his co-conspirators, sycophants, those too scared to speak up and a few who have fought to change the problems which have plagued this organization.

    There are very few active members who are not on the Executive Committee too. They don't really want to run the organization.

    There were those who thought previous leadership was too tame. They thought they had a real firebrand with Shields and Co. but what they got was Frankenstein. Make that 3 Frankensteins.

    They do what they want, say what they want and take what they want. They don't care about rules or votes. The people on the Executive Committee who say nothing are just as bad in my opinion. They KNOW what is going on.

    Ask Beverly Hicks, Gloria Rogers and Morris Reece why they do nothing. Ask Bob Turner why he does nothing. They have been there, they've seen it and they didn't say a word.

  42. Bob Turner - it's time for you to speak up.

  43. If you take the silence of the NAACP as a sign of some kind of introspection or a measured approach before replying, don't. Their silence signals a desperate wish for this to all go away. They have circled the wagons.

    Any sentence beyond "no comment" leads to knowledge that implicates everyone - either by action or by looking the other way.

    If you doubt it, remind yourself of the $500 bounty on the head of the snitch not the crooks.

    Past Presidents Beverly Hicks, Morris Reece and all the officers what do you think is going to happen? The NAACP is decimated and you are directly responsible for not stopping it. Everyone knows about Shields, Fair and Oliver. That you have chosen to protect them is worst of all.

  44. NAACP Member8/24/2010 7:37 AM

    Anon 3:54 posting regarding financial software is important because it is the Treasurer who is calling wolf. The money in the Freedom Fund is to fight injustice not for investigations. The FBI would be involved if their were any inproprieties to investigate. We are talking about a $500 mathmatical error so it is important to define how the financials are generated. It is also important to point out that the membership is the highest body not the Executive Board.

    Again, the next NAACP meeting is this Saturday morning, will you be attending? Probably not.

  45. Very interesting how you defend a $500 mathematical error which is fine and it certainly would be the job of any organizations treasurer to "cry wolf" when finding a problem, because sometimes there actually is a wolf.

    The document of accusations, as you know, includes many other questions that need to be answered. The commenter at 10:44 summed up quite a few of them. So perhaps you can answer those please. The public deserves to know.

    I will be at Saturday's meeting and I'm bringing a few friends who are members too. We are all very curious what you will have to say.

  46. Also a NAACP Member8/24/2010 9:36 AM

    If the membership is the highest body and authority, why did Mike Shields bring in Penny Sharp, the Secretary of the Democratic Party of Racine County to try and amend the memberships vote that Freedom Fund money can only be used for scholarships and legal advocacy?

    Why did he withhold the minutes from the previous meeting which showed the membership voted this way? The members at the meeting could have showed this as proof and told Penny Sharp to mind her own business and sit down.

    Maybe you should remind Mike Shields that the membership is the highest body.

  47. I would bet there are far more discrepancies in the budget if an audit were done - BY AN OUTSIDE SOURCE.

    So according to an NAACP member, the money in the NAACP is to fight injustice, not investigations - well I would call embezzlement of money and threatening fellow NAACP members to be a HUGE INJUSTICE.

    Anyone willing to sweep this under the carpet is just a disgrace to the organization. Shame shame shame.

    And who's to say it's only $500? There has been no accounting of funds collected for a dinner, the amount of "missing" money could be much much more. Embezzlement of funds is a serious offence, people probably should be going to prison over this.

  48. Bob Turner is the only person with enough pull to demand that the books be audited by an independent source. Most of the Executive Committee will not do it voluntarily because they know what will be found...Craig Oliver even admitted to it! Since the treasurer is one of the people who demanded an itemized list of expenses from the Swanson and Freedom Fund Dinners - he would no doubt support an audit.

    But that is only one of the problems. Shields, Oliver and Fair have abandoned following any rules and polices they were sworn to uphold.

    Bob Turner is the only person anyone would listen to. He could have them removed for malfeasance but since they worked for him. He owes them, which makes him just as bad as the rest.

    They want to lay low until branch elections -which are fixed- and they'll be back in again saying "Hey! they voted for us, we can't be that bad." Case closed.

  49. Turner is as bad as the rest of them - since he is running for re-election or running for Mayor, he better come out and say what he knows about this situation, when he found out and what he is going to do about it.

  50. So what happened at the 28th meeting?

  51. The offer of money to reveal who squealed on Shields, Fair and Oliver is just another attempt to silence and intimidate members. Instead of being embarrassed that their activities were exposed they want to shut people up.

    No follow-up from the press...