Fulton County DA's probe clears ousted SCLC members of criminal wrongdoing

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ATLANTA — Prosecutors in Georgia have concluded there is no proof that two ousted board members of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference stole more than $560,000 from the landmark civil rights organization, according to a draft report.

The report on the 18-month-long investigation into the allegations was obtained by The Associated Press. The ousted board members, including former chairman Raleigh Trammell and ex-treasurer Spiver Gordon, are calling on Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard to release the findings to the public.

“The investigation revealed that there is insufficient evidence to pursue criminal charges against Spiver Gordon or Raleigh Trammell for any of the allegations set forth in the complaint,” the report says. “To prove any criminal activity in this case, the investigation would have to show that the funds were clearly used for personal benefit, and not for the benefit of the SCLC. The investigation showed that the funds were actually used for approved programs and approved travel reimbursements.”

Howard’s office was asked in January 2010 by the SCLC’s general counsel to investigate suspected unauthorized expenditures. According to the report, some board members equated the expenditures to theft.

The allegations drove off the Rev. Bernice King, who was poised to take the helm of the organization co-founded by her father, but declined amid the infighting.

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