LA NAACP President Resigns Amid Donald Sterling Controversy
Rucuss staffMay 2, 2014
The president of the Los Angeles chapter of the NAACP has resigned.
Leon Jenkins resigned from his post at NAACP after controversy surrounding Donald Sterling gained steam throughout the week. The move comes just days after the nation’s oldest civil rights group withdrew Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling’s lifetime achievement award.
Many criticized the NAACP for trying to award Sterling his second lifetime achievement award after his continued racism toward minorities. The national office of the NAACP is developing guidelines for its branches to help them in their award selection process.
“Please be advised that the legacy, history and reputation of the NAACP is more important to me than the presidency,” Jenkins said in his resignation letter. “In order to separate the Los Angeles NAACP and the NAACP from the negative exposure I have caused the NAACP, I respectfully resign my position as President of the Los Angeles NAACP.”
The NAACP gave Sterling his first Lifetime Achievement award in 2009. It was the same year the Clippers owner paid $2.73 million to settle U.S. government claims that he refused to rent his apartments to Latinos and blacks in Koreatown.
Sterling was just days away from receiving his second award when a recording emerged of Sterling asking his girlfriend to not publicly associate with African-Americans.
The NBA banned Sterling for life and fined him $2.5 million Tuesday for making racist comments. Sterling can have no association with the league or the team. The NBA is currently trying to force Sterling to sell the team.
This is not the first time that Jenkins has been involved in scandal. According to the Los Angeles Times, while a Detroit judge, Jenkins was indicted on federal bribery, conspiracy, mail fraud and racketeering charges in 1988.
Jenkins allegedly received gifts from those who appeared in his court and committed perjury. He was acquitted of criminal charges. But in 1994 the Michigan Supreme Court disbarred him, finding “overwhelming evidence” that Jenkins “sold his office and his public trust,” according to the bar records.
Photos via NationalReview.com and NBClosangles.com
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