Jerome Mondesire, president of the Philadelphia chapter of the NAACP. Credit: philadelphia-naacp.org
The embattled president of the Philadelphia chapter of the NAACP addressed charges that he mishandled finances for the group on the "Wake up with WURD" morning show on 900 AM WURD today.
Speaking by phone on "Wake up with WURD" this morning, Jerome Mondesire denied any intentional wrongdoing in the handling of the NAACP's finances, but attributed mistakes in the handling of financial paperwork to "human error."
“I will admit human error. It's not something I’m proud of," Mondesire said. "The pressures of running the NAACP and other stuff, I haven’t always filed the proper paperwork."
Former chapter members are seeking a review by the national NAACP of the Philadelphia branch's finances. Questions they reportedly seek to answer include why checks to the NAACP were deposited by Next Generation Community Development Corporation, which is run by Mondesire.
When asked point-blank if it was illegal to deposit a $10,000 check for the NAACP to the Next Generation CDC, Mondesire said, "It may not have been the smartest thing to do, but it certainly was not illegal."
Mondesire said that the Next Generation CDC was created as the development arm of the Philadelphia NAACP chapter, and was also the only organization allowed to pay bills on a building used by the NAACP.
He also said it was normal for the NAACP's annual gala fundraiser to have zero net earnings in 2013.
The entire interview, which also includes former chapter members Donald "Ducky" Birts and Rev. Elisha Morris, is online on Soundcloud. Mondesire calls in at 32:20.
Mondesire has previously declined requests for comment on the issue in reports by the Inquirer and Axis Philly.