Election of Kevin Johnson to head Black mayors group ‘invalid’

George Curry | 7/12/2013, 5:28 a.m.
After accepting a determination by the attorney for the National Conference of Blacks Mayors that the organization’s May 30 election ...
Mayor Kevin Johnson NNPA

The law firm filed for a temporary restraining order in Atlanta to obtain more than 30 NCBM records, but the judge did not issue an order and the matter is scheduled to be addressed in court Friday morning.

According to Bowser, Johnson has attempted to micro manage Executive Director Williams, demanding that she not have any contact with any member of the news media, not pay any contract for more than $1,000 and not make any staff changes without prior authorization of the special task force.

However, in her memo to the board, Attorney Winchester stated, “…the invalid election provides additional reasons why the special task force is not valid and why Ballard Spahr has no authority to act on behalf of or represent NCBM in any capacity.”

In its letter to Johnson on June 20, the 16 board members said, “As members of the board, we are very concerned about the recent activities of the Special Task Force and Ballard Spahr. We object to the recent tactics used by the law firm and do not approve of the way it is now handling the NCBM leadership and staff. Demands and actions are being taken that we as a board have not approved. The board of directors did not approve of Ballard Spahr filing papers in the Superior Court of Fulton County. If such filings have been made we ask that they be removed immediately; we did not approve of investigation of NCBM staff; we did not approve of any attempts to micro manage and/or limit the duties of the NCBM staff, nor did we approve of the removal of NCBM property nor were we made aware of or approve at any time the authority of the board of directors being given to a committee or third party. As a board, we would not nor have we given to Ballard Spahr the authority to discipline and or terminate the contracts of NCBM staff. These measures are extreme and we certainly do not approve.”

The mayors also took issue with assertions made by Johnson in an op-ed he circulated to the board in advance of publication.

“The statement has been made that the Board of Directors just recently became aware of recent lawsuits against the organization and debt. This is not an entirely true statement,” the letter stated. “Under the leadership of both the immediate and past presidents, the boards of directors have been informed of the liabilities of the organization.”