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NAACP ousts civil rights activist

NAACP Logo December 20, 1997
Web posted at: 11:11 p.m. EST (0411 GMT)

CHICAGO (CNN) -- The national board of the NAACP voted Saturday to remove civil rights activist Hazel Dukes from the board after she admitted taking money from an ill associate who had entrusted his finances to her.

Two-thirds of the 47 board members voted to remove the influential board member from New York in a closed-door meeting.

The question of ousting Dukes, 65, had threatened to cause another NAACP leadership crisis. In 1994, Executive Director Benjamin Chavis was fired after allegations of sexual harassment and the organization's mounting debt under his leadership.

In October, Dukes admitted taking over $13,000 from a woman who had been stricken with leukemia. The woman had entrusted Dukes to cash her paychecks and help pay her bills with the money.

The New York State NAACP chapter, which Dukes heads, is also being investigated for possible financial problems.

Dukes resigned her post on the board of trustees at the State University of New York last month after New York State Attorney General Dennis Vacco ruled that by admitting her guilt, she violated her oath of office.


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