Weeks before installing a new King as the leader of the SCLC, the organization suspended its chairman and treasurer.
In a overnight emailed press release, dated Monday, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference said that its controversial board chairman, the Rev. Raleigh Trammell, and treasurer, Spiver Gordon, were suspended pending “an internal investigation into alleged claims of improprieties.”
This fall, the SCLC elected Bernice King vote as the organization’s first female president. King is the youngest daughter of SCLC co-founder the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
She is to be installed into the position early next year.
The investigation was launched in October and centers on the “possible mismanagement of organizational funds” and a personnel matter involving an employee in the SCLC’s Dayton chapter office.
Trammell lives and works in Dayton. Calls to both Trammell and Gordon were not returned.
The Rev. Sylvia Tucker has been named acting board chairman, and Randall Gaines has been named acting treasurer.
“We are at a historical moment in history as we prepare to ratify the election of Rev. Dr. Bernice A. King as the organization’s first female president,” Tucker said. “It is incumbent upon us to protect the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the SCLC as we work to ensure that necessary steps are taken [to] guarantee the public trust in the organization.”
In what may be a break from recent form, Tucker said the organization would publicly announce its findings.
“During my tenure as chairperson, I will work with the board of directors to instill a firm commitment to transparency and accountability,” Tucker said.