NAACP national director Benjamin Chavis and chairman William F. Gibson should resign immediately, says a West Virginia NAACP resolution.
Chavis has been under pressure to resign for committing up to $332,400 in NAACP money to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit without consent of the 64-member board of directors. Gibson has said he didn't known in advance about the settlement, but defends Chavis' action.Chavis has rejected calls to resign. He said he agreed to the settlement with former NAACP employee Mary Stansel to avoid the expense of a lawsuit.
The resolution, adopted by a 28-2 vote Friday at the West Virginia NAACP annual convention, is the first by a state branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, said state President James Tolbert.
"This resolution tells these two leaders that the state feels they're not adequate," he said.
Some city branches and individuals within the civil rights organization also have called for Chavis to step down. The NAACP's national board of directors is scheduled to discuss the matter on Aug. 20.
"The national leadership of the NAACP has lost the confidence and support of the majority of its members," the resolution states.
The resignations "would permit the organization to refocus on its historical objectives as dictated by changes in the world, and we believe these suggested acts of unselfishness are in the best interest of the NAACP," it said.
In November, Chavis committed the NAACP to paying Stansel up to $82,400 while he tried to find her an $80,000-a-year job.