Leon Jenkins Out as LA NAACP Head Over Donald Sterling Scandal

Friday, 02 May 2014 12:31 PM

By Nick Sanchez

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Los Angeles NAACP President Leon Jenkins has resigned after Clippers owner Donald Sterling was banned from the league for racist remarks amid plans to give him an NCAAP lifetime achievement award.

According to The Los Angeles Times, the organization's interim president and CEO Lorraine C. Miller released part of his resignation letter in a press release on the chapter's website. In it, Jenkins alluded to the May gala where Sterling was set to receive the award. Newspaper ads for the gala featured a picture of the pair together and read "Two leaders. One unprecedented event."

"Please be advised that the legacy, history and reputation of the NAACP is more important to me than the presidency. In order to separate the Los Angeles NAACP and the NAACP from the negative exposure I have caused the NAACP, I respectfully resign my position as President of the Los Angeles NAACP," Jenkins wrote.

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Because of the Sterling scandal, all parties involved were under intense media scrutiny, and on Tuesday Deadline Detroit and the Michigan Citizen reported on Jenkins' history of misconduct as a young judge in Detroit.

The Associated Press summarized the misconduct, writing, "In 1988, federal prosecutors charged Jenkins with extortion and racketeering conspiracy, saying he requested and received money, jewelry, a handgun and other gifts to dismiss traffic tickets and other misdemeanors. While Jenkins was acquitted after two trials, in 1991 the Michigan Supreme Court removed him as a judge."

After being removed, Jenkins moved to California and began working as an attorney.

Jenkins was eventually disbarred in 1994 by the Michigan Supreme Court. It found "overwhelming evidence" that Jenkins "sold his office and his public trust."

The California bar also disbarred him in 2001 after investigating his history in
Michigan.

He made subsequent attempts to be reinstated in 2006 and 2012, and was rejected again this April. The bar questioned his "moral fitness to resume the practice of law" after he misrepresented his divorce papers and failed to disclose $660,000 he owed to former clients.

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