“A Complete Failure of Leadership”—The New Georgia Project Faces Allegations of Financial Impropriety

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Politico investigated the voting rights group Stacey Abrams based however not leads.

The New Georgia Project, the nonprofit group based in 2014 by voting rights activist Stacey Abrams, is going through allegations of monetary irregularities and misuse of funds, in response to a six-month investigation by Politico. A evaluate of monetary data and interviews with former and present staff discovered “multiple instances of poor financial record-keeping.” 

The group, which obtained greater than $36 million {dollars} in donations in fiscal yr 2020 and helped register roughly 800,000 new voters in Georgia to elect two Democrat senators, reportedly failed to trace firm spending within the kind of Visa present playing cards given to workers to cowl work-related bills. But no system was in place to make sure the present playing cards truly have been getting used for work functions. There additionally have been alleged situations the place the group didn’t pay contractors on time—or in any respect. Former staff instructed Politico that the “organization had a toxic work environment that became unnecessarily stressful and fomented distrust between staffers.” 

Abrams, who hasn’t been concerned with the group’s management since operating for governor of Georgia in 2017—when now-Senator Raphael Warnock grew to become the chair earlier than his Senate bid—didn’t touch upon the allegations. Board Chair Frank Wilson stated the New Georgia Project is conducting an inside probe into the group’s funds. “We’re going to do a forensic look at our records,” Wilson, who additionally chairs the New Georgia Project Action Fund, the 501(c)4 arm of the nonprofit that may interact in political exercise, instructed Politico. “We’ll start at the beginning, and just lay it out, clean it up, and redirect as necessary…so we’ll be in a position where anybody who will come—be it authorities, be it media, be it whomever—we will not be concerned about who looks at our records because we’ll have all our i’s dotted and t’s crossed. So I’m comfortable with that, you know, and I’ll almost welcome it.”

The investigation additional discovered irregularities associated to wage advances and different bills, together with reportedly failing to hunt reimbursement from Nsé Ufot, the group’s former government director and CEO who was fired in 2022, for “thousands of dollars in ‘non-work-related’ reimbursements.” The group reported in monetary types a $8,865 wage advance for Ufot in 2021, whereas the 501(c)4 entity reported she owed $4,377. Ufot denied claims that she owes cash to the group.

“What you saw was real, the people that were knocking doors and doing other things, incredible, incredible,” a former high-level worker instructed Politico. “The sad part is those are the people that were incredible. And they deserve better. The volunteers, the people that were on staff were absolutely incredible, believed in the mission, were the mission. It was a complete failure of leadership.”

Politico’s investigation will be learn in full here.

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