Portland Burghal Council applicant Jo Ann Hardesty is alive on the backbone of her continued almanac of accessible service. That almanac has fabricated her the frontrunner in the attack and has her assertive to become the aboriginal woman of blush adopted to City Hall.
It includes her assignment in the U.S. Navy from 1978 to 1984 as one of the aboriginal women deployed on a ship and two agreement as an Oregon accompaniment administrator from 1997 to 2000. In the accomplished decade, though, Hardesty’s accessible ceremony has abundantly been as a advance on the boards of local nonprofits.
Most notably, Hardesty helped animate the Portland NAACP afterwards the accumulation became defunct. She was adopted admiral by assembly of the Portland branch, 1120B, in backward 2014, took appointment in January 2015 and stepped bottomward beforehand this year.
Bradley W. Parks/OPB
“This was an alignment that was aloof about to bless 101 years of existence,” Hardesty said. “I could not, with any claret larboard in my body, acquiesce the oldest civilian rights alignment in Oregon to fold if there was annihilation I could do about it.”
In her advance role as president, Hardesty led ceremony meetings, served as armchair of the organization’s controlling lath and co-signed checks from the annex coffer account.
But annal and interviews accession questions about banking blank and almanac befitting of the NAACP accessory during Hardesty’s appellation and her absorption to details.
The Portland annex lacked or bootless to accomplish the banking controls best nonprofits use to ensure they can ceremony for their spending — controls that are spelled out in a accounting adviser the borough NAACP publishes for its members annually.
Records additionally appearance that while Hardesty has characterized her assignment as the Portland annex admiral as advance service, she calm added than $13,000 in assets from the alignment in 2017, including a biking allowance and a acquittal to her for-profit consulting business. Hardesty and the NAACP accessory did not address that assets to the IRS or pay taxes on it. Hardesty said she is now acclimation her claimed assets tax returns.
The poor almanac befitting airish a claiming for the leaders who stepped in to serve as admiral and broker afterwards Hardesty stepped bottomward from her column beforehand this year.
“It’s no abstruse that there was corruption in the administrational allotment of our organization,” E.D. Mondaine, who became annex admiral in February, told assembly at a affair Aug. 25. “When we accustomed the reins and accepted that discrepancies were in place, we apprenticed a bookkeeper, placed a broker and fabricated abiding we were strong.”
The Hardesty attack cooperated with this adventure and provided OPB with emails, documents, and tax documents. Hardesty and her attack agents additionally answered dozens of questions in actuality and in autograph apropos the NAACP Portland branch.
By bounce 2017, two years afterwards Hardesty took office, the NAACP Portland accessory had accustomed its assimilation in Oregon with the secretary of state’s appointment to lapse. As of this spring, the Portland annex was not registered as a alms with the Oregon Department of Justice, additionally a accustomed claim of nonprofit accessible benefit corporations.
The annex additionally fell abaft on filing key ceremony banking letters to the borough NAACP. The letters are due annually on March 1, and the ancestor alignment uses them to book ytical 990 tax forms in a accumulation acknowledgment on annual of bounded branches.
The Portland accessory submitted its ceremony banking address in 2015, accomplishing its obligations to the IRS. The annex formed on a 2016 banking report, but the Hardesty attack said it can not acquisition a archetype of it. The 2017 banking address still hasn’t been completed.
Nonprofits automatically lose their tax-exempt cachet if they abort to book the 990 anatomy three years in a row.
To adjust the problems, the branch’s new broker submitted filings to the IRS in August for all three years.
A backer for the borough NAACP did not acknowledge to assorted calls and two emails apropos letters from the Portland branch.
Hardesty and her accepted acclamation opponent, Multnomah Canton Abettor Loretta Smith, are both alive on their abysmal acquaintance in Portland borough life. The champ will be responsible, beneath Portland’s altered agency anatomy of government, for absolute circadian blank of a portfolio of burghal agencies assigned by the mayor. That portfolio would accommodate the Portland Fire Agency and the retirement arrangement for badge and firefighters beneath the accepted agency assignments — agencies with accumulated budgets of added than $350 actor a year.
Later this month, OPB will booty a aing attending at Smith’s history as a manager, including her successes as a Multnomah Canton abettor but additionally Smith’s own well-documented problems. In 2017, for example, Smith was the accountable of a canton ysis afterwards bodies on her agents declared that she had afield acclimated canton assets and bullied them.
In Hardesty’s case, a aing assay of her time at the NAACP reveals abundant successes — the alignment is far added alive today than back she took over — but an overarching abridgement of absorption to detail and babyminding rules, decidedly back it came to the nonprofit’s finances. Hardesty said the problems there were archetypal of a volunteer-run nonprofit.
“Has it been perfect? Of advance not,” she said. “But no all-volunteer alignment is perfect.”
She additionally said that the problems with record-keeping at the NAACP, while she was president, are not accordant to her approaching achievement in office.
“I will not be alone the one putting calm those documents. I will accept staff, and there will be agency admiral accomplishing that,” she said. “I anticipate there’s not a allegory amid what I’ve done as a volunteer, what I’ve done as a association accessory and what role I comedy as an elected leader.”
Hardesty took over a annex that had been by all accounts defunct, and she brought in new partnerships and revenue.
In 2015, the annex formed with the nonprofit Common Account to bless the 50th ceremony of the federal Voting Rights Act. In 2016, the accessory brought activist groups and families impacted by badge abandon from Spokane and Seattle to Portland for a summer appointment on police accountability.
In 2017, with a admission from Oregon Humanities, the bounded accessory of the Borough Endowment for the Humanities, the accessory created a Atramentous Legacy Activity bus tour, exploring the history of the civilian rights movement and the atramentous association in Portland. It bound sold out.
During Hardesty’s tenure, the branch’s assembly grew and its revenues quadrupled.
“Jo Ann has the allure of a actuality who can accompany bodies calm from a ample array of backgrounds,” said James Posey, a Portland architect and small-business buyer who served as the chapter’s carnality admiral beneath Hardesty and is now the chapter’s bread-and-er development chairman. “If you add the band of a constituency abject that’s underrepresented, bankrupt in best cases, it’s arresting seeing what she’s been able to do.”
But problems tracking spending and filing letters adamant branch leadership.
Two bodies served as advance broker of the Portland NAACP during Hardesty’s three years as president.
Bryant Enge, at the time the administrator of Portland’s Agency of Internal Business Services, started befitting the chapter’s books in 2015.
Enge accommodated as broker in July 2016. He gave the annex aloof one day’s notice.
“Portland NAACP 1120B Annex has in a abbreviate bulk of time reestablished itself as a prominent allotment of our community,” Enge wrote in his abandonment letter. “I am animated that I could be a baby allotment of that success.”
Enge didn’t acknowledge to requests for comment. Portland’s arch authoritative officer, Tom Rinehart, alone Enge’s agency and laid Enge off beforehand this year.
Enge beneath Hardesty’s appeal that he break on best to accord her time to acquisition a new treasurer.
After he stepped down, the annex went six months afterwards anyone in the critical role.
Cleophas Chambliss was adopted broker in January 2017.
“The books for 2016 were a absolute mess,” she said.
Chambliss, 61, is not an accountant. But she had endemic a baby business, RJ And Company Property Maintenance, and handled the company’s payroll, accounts and ledgers.
Chambliss said the assignment she was accepted to accomplish as broker was overwhelming, in allotment due to the organization’s history of poor almanac keeping. The time she spent piecing calm a accumulation and accident annual for the NAACP’s above-mentioned year larboard her with little time to clue the organization’s spending in 2017.
In September 2017, she said, she had surgery, authoritative it adamantine to accomplish her advance responsibilities. In December 2017, Hardesty asked her to step down.
“I abundantly acknowledge your service, but I charge to be able to depend on our broker actuality accessible for NAACP Portland Annex business,” Hardesty wrote in an email Chambliss aggregate with OPB.
During her abrupt time as treasurer — aloof beneath a year — Chambliss said she accustomed to ensure budgetary accountability by acute bodies abide requests in autograph back they capital to use checks from the NAACP account
“Jo Ann would aloof address checks for whatever. That was difficult. According to the bylaws, checks were to be requested,” she said. “She would do annihilation she wanted, with no accountability. That started way afore I got there, and I didn’t accept the ability to change it.”
Hardesty said Chambliss wasn’t responding to requests or accomplishing her duties in a timely manner.
Chambliss aggregate with OPB assorted emails from 2017 she beatific to Hardesty and others affiliated with the NAACP. In them, she raises apropos about the boundless cardinal of altered checkbooks the bounded annex had and her adversity tracking the purpose of individual checks.
“There needs to be some blank of how monies are actuality spent and are those funds actuality spent on the Accessory or per the NAACP guidelines,” Chambliss wrote in a final email after Hardesty asked her to step down.
In February 2018, Hardesty stepped bottomward from her role with the NAACP afterwards the addition bi-weekly Willamette Week aloft questions about her use of the civilian rights organization’s cast in campaign events.
The branch’s aboriginal carnality president, E.D. Mondaine, was called admiral to alter her. Mondaine is a aggressive veteran, artist and the chief pastor of the Portland’s Celebration Tabernacle Church. Jeff Strang, a accessory who had chaired the branch’s bread-and-er development committee, agreed to serve as treasurer.
In March, afterwards media inquiries about the branch, the Oregon Department of Justice contacted the alignment to acquaint its leaders they bare to annals as an Oregon charity.
Mondaine and Strang assassin an accountant to do accounting and advice them abide filings they believed were accomplished due for 2015 and 2016 to the IRS. They filed for an addendum for the chapter’s 2017 tax filings.
The accountant’s ysis begin austere problems with financial oversight.
The problems included affairs that could not be classified due to bare almanac befitting and the use of a petty banknote armamentarium with little documentation.
“Based on some of the accepted balance letters provided by the above-mentioned bookkeeper, there were several affairs that she could not allocate due to bare almanac befitting as well,” the accountant wrote in a letter to the Executive Board.
The accountant additionally acclaimed that a $300 ceremony allowance to Hardesty was afield referred to on some checks as “per diems,” an important acumen for tax purposes.
The $300 “reimbursement stipend” was accustomed by the Portland NAACP’s controlling lath in January 2017. It was advised to awning Hardesty’s bounded accessible appearances, biking and parking for the year ahead, according to lath annual aggregate by Hardesty’s campaign. She was not appropriate to accommodate receipts or documentation.
In total, Hardesty accustomed $3,300 as stipends in 2017.
Hardesty said, in accession to the stipend, the annex paid for her biking to the 2017 borough NAACP convention.
Hardesty said she acquainted the alignment could afford it.
“I’m appropriate to appear a lot of meetings; I’m appropriate to drive a lot. I’m appropriate to appoint with bodies in alertness for bringing them into the NAACP,” she said. “The aboriginal brace of years I wasn’t the primary breadwinner, so it wasn’t all-important for me to accept the stipend. Once I was on my own and advantageous my own bills, it became added important for me to do that.”
But the IRS requires nonprofits to chase austere guidelines back they balance paid agents or lath members because reimbursements are not taxed. Bodies accept to appearance receipts documenting costs they’ve incurred on annual of their nonprofit for expenses.
Nonprofits about charge pay bulk taxes on stipends such as the one Hardesty received, and the almsman charge address the allowance as taxable income.
The NAACP aboriginal appear Hardesty’s allowance to the IRS aftermost month. Hardesty is now acclimation her 2017 tax return.
Hardesty said the lath was not acquainted there was a acumen amid a per diem and a reimbursement.
The allowance agitated some longtime members.
“It’s a advance organization. She’s the aboriginal one anytime been paid like that,” said Odessa Hendrix, 75. Hendrix said she’s been a accessory of the Portland NAACP, advantageous ceremony dues, since 1965.
“You don’t get any money,” she said. “I’ve paid aggregate out of my pocket.”
Hendrix served on the Portland NAACP’s accounts lath this year. Frustrated with the organization’s banking problems, she said she concluded her constant assembly in the NAACP.
Sheila Randall, the accountant assassin afterwards Hardesty stepped bottomward as president, was hindered by poor record-keeping, according to a letter she wrote to the executive board.
“Unfortunately, we were clumsy to access the accounting abstracts ahead recorded by the above-mentioned bookkeeper for 2015, 2016 and allotment of 2017,” she wrote. “We aggregate abstracts based on coffer statements and receipts that could be found.”
Randall beneath to animadversion on this story.
She produced a annual for anniversary year from 2015 to 2018, summarizing the chapter’s acquirement and expenses, based on the annal she could find.
Her overview of the branch’s activities in 2017 could not explain $18,414.37 in spending — an bulk that totaled added than bisected the organization’s 2017 expenses.
The accountant’s address classifies the $18,414.37 as “suspense expenses.”
That’s an accounting appellation for spending that is “in suspense” because while the money was acutely spent, its business purpose hasn’t yet been determined.
Smaller costs weren’t accurate or acutely tracked in added years that Hardesty led the bounded chapter: $2,364.83 in 2015 and $1,440 in 2016.
OPB aggregate a archetype of the accountant’s assignment with Beatrice Dohrn, the administrator of the University of Oregon School of Law’s Nonprofit Clinic.
“You don’t absorb $18,000 out of a annual this baby and not accept it categorized if your alignment is abundantly managed,” Dohrn said.
Dohrn said accepting a ample bulk of spending in anxiety doesn’t necessarily announce that money has been misused.
“But it does acquaint you that somebody is not managing well,” she said.”It’s aloof a basal affair that you do, is accept systems that clue area cogent amounts of money go.”
OPB additionally gave Hardesty a archetype of the accountant’s letters and provided her with accounting questions apropos the 2017 spending for which the accountant couldn’t acquisition a documented purpose.
Hardesty initially told OPB the money was for food, abode and biking for the Northwest Association Coalition for Badge Accountability Summer Gathering.
That appointment took abode in 2016, not 2017.
After OPB requested abstracts that would announce how the money had been spent, the NAACP approved added advice from its bank.
Bank annal showed that two checks, accounting from a accessory checkbook the accepted NAACP admiral could not find, explained best of the $18,000 that had puzzled the accountant.
OPB has not apparent the checks but accustomed a abundant description of them. One of those checks is for $7,537.50 and fabricated out to a close that conducted polling on a green-energy acclamation admeasurement for the NAACP and three added organizations. Proponents of the measure, including the NAACP, succeeded in accepting abundant signatures to put it on the November 2018 ballot.
The added check, for $9,000, was fabricated out to Consult Hardesty, Jo Ann Hardesty’s for-profit business.
Governance rules developed by the borough NAACP for its branches crave all checks from annex accounts be active by two people, the accessory broker and the president.
But that didn’t appear in this case. The ysis was cut in September, the aforementioned ages Chambliss said she had surgery. Only Hardesty signed it.
Hardesty initially offered addition annual for the 2017 spending but adapted herself afterwards actuality a about the coffer abstracts by OPB.
She said it was the aboriginal chapter of $10,000 she was paid in absolute for assignment on a contract.
In September 2017, the NAACP collaborated with two non-profits — APANO, which works with Asian and Pacific Island immigrant communities, and Common Cause, an acclamation ameliorate accumulation — to assemble a day-long accident on strategies to strengthen the articulation of communities of blush in Oregon’s political system.
The action affair was adjourned by the Piper Fund, a Massachusetts private foundation.
APANO accustomed the allotment for the accident and again active a arrangement with the Portland NAACP to pay $10,000 for advice convening it. Hardesty’s attack provided OPB with abundant abstracts accompanying to the event, including emails, proposals and contracts.
Duncan Hwang, APANO’s accessory director, said the acquisition was a success.
“The collaborative ambit of assignment was completed on time and on annual and our stakeholders were admiring with the final product,” he said.
But the arrangement amid APANO and the NAACP, which the Hardesty attack aggregate with OPB, says annihilation about the acquittal activity to the for-profit Consult Hardesty rather than the nonprofit NAACP.
The admission angle the ally submitted to the Piper Armamentarium includes $10,000 for NAACP agents time for the event but additionally doesn’t acknowledgment the for-profit Consult Hardesty.
And the acquittal abandoned a cardinal of NAACP rules and federal tax requirements.
Nonprofits, including NAACP branches, are declared to book a anatomy 1099 with the IRS back they pay consultants for casework annual added than $600.
The NAACP Portland Annex did not address the $10,000 absolute acquittal to Consult Hardesty to the IRS, and Hardesty did not address the acquittal on her 2017 assets tax return.
“There’s no way that I was aggravating to adumbrate or conceal annihilation that was demography place. This was artlessly not accepting the abstracts that I anticipation I needed. Demography them to my guy, and accomplishing what he told me to do,” she said.
The absolute acquittal was almost a division of Hardesty’s absolute business assets in 2017, based on what she appear on her tax return.
Spending added than $100 from the branch’s ceremony requires a vote of approval from the controlling committee, usually four or bristles people, per NAACP bylaws.
Hardesty initially told OPB that “every penny that was spent by the NAACP was spent with the approval of the absolute executive committee.”
But the controlling lath never voted to accept the $10,000 payments to Consult Hardesty, admitting they did altercate the project, she said.
Hardesty conceded that the NAACP did not go through any absolute action back it came to the acquittal to her consulting business.
“I assumption that’s fair,” she said.
The $10,000 payment, forth with the $3,300 stipend, additionally conflicts with how Hardesty characterized her role with the NAACP: as carefully advance work.
“I accept never acclimated any assets from the NAACP to account myself or my Portland Burghal Council campaign,” she told Willamette Week beforehand this year.
Hardesty stands by her assuming of her time with the NAACP as volunteer work.
“The actuality that I was compensated for specific work, and I did specific assignment for a capitalism ameliorate accomplishment does not booty abroad from all the hundreds of hours I spent volunteering for the NAACP,” she said.
In animosity of the banking anarchy at the branch, abounding of the bodies who volunteered alongside Hardesty abide loyal to her. They say she is hardworking, committed to the account of civilian rights and committed to extensive bodies generally larboard out of politics.
James Posey declared her as somebody who isn’t afflicted by money.
“Any reasonable, rational actuality can see that in the advance of how Jo Ann does her business and who she assembly with,” he said.
But Posey and others accustomed that she can be “laissez-faire” about some things.
“Is she perfect? Hell no, she’s not perfect.” Posey said, laughing. “I’ll acquaint you about that, as anon as the acclamation is over.”
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