The Rev. Benjamin Chavis has sued the NAACP to get his job back, saying the board of directors violated its own bylaws when it fired him.
The lawsuit filed Monday contends that the board of the nation's pre-eminent civil rights group didn't grant him a proper hearing or record its vote to oust him."What I want the NAACP to do is practice the principles it preaches," Chavis told ABC News on Monday night. "I just want to be treated fairly by the NAACP."
A hearing on the lawsuit was scheduled for Tuesday in Superior Court in Washington, D.C. Chavis is seeking a preliminary injunction that would prohibit the group from removing him.
Chavis was fired Saturday from his $200,000-a-year job as executive director of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
Board members complained that Chavis ran up a $2.7 million deficit, didn't tell them that he had used NAACP money to settle a sexual discrimination claim, and established alliances with such controversial figures as Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.
Earlier in Monday, the NAACP formally introduced its new interim director, Earl Shinhoster. He announced a 30-day membership and fund-raising drive to help erase the NAACP's deficit.
"Those who believe in the cause of the NAACP will stick with the NAACP," said Shinhoster, who spent 17 years as the organization's southeast regional director and competed with Chavis for the top job.
Board Chairman William F. Gibson said no timetable had been set for selecting a new executive director. He noted that it took the board a year to pick Chavis.
"We should be just as deliberate this time as we were before," Gibson said.