Ejected Philly NAACP Leader Jerry Mondesire Feted on Eve of National Convention

He used the occasion to propose to his longtime girlfriend, Cathy Hicks. (She said yes!)

Jerry Mondesire via NAACP.

Jerry Mondesire via NAACP.

The 106th NAACP National Convention is now in full swing at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, with President Barack Obama and Bill Clinton scheduled to address the thousands in attendance this week. But one man who was involved in bringing the NAACP National Convention to Philadelphia is absent from the lineup of confirmed guests and speakers: Jerry Mondesire, the former head of the Philadelphia chapter of the NAACP.

The national office of the NAACP removed Mondesire from his position after an internal feud erupted over his handling of NAACP Philadelphia finances, with some NAACP officials questioning what happened to donations Mondesire received. In 2009, a state grand jury investigated Mondesire, and then-Deputy Attorney General William Davis wrote in a memo that the investigation “uncovered what appeared to be questionable spending” of state funds by Mondesire.

Mondesire has denied any wrongdoing, and he has never been charged with a crime. In 2014, he called the accusations “scurrilous” in an interview published in the Philadelphia Sun, a newspaper that just so happens to be owned by Mondesire.

But while Mondesire may have been shunned by the national NAACP, he still has some local supporters. Mondesire’s friends, family and assorted cronies threw him a surprise party on Friday night, the eve of the national convention. Dozens turned out to the $65-per-head party at Belmont Mansion.

Here’s a blurb from the official invite:

As you know, J. Whyatt Mondesire served the NAACP and our communities for more than 17 years. His commitment to the justice and equality for all people, not just people of color, was unmatched. Although he is no longer serving as President of the PA State Conference and Philadelphia Chapter, we are celebrating him and all that he has done over the last 17 years… Black tie is optional!

Mondesire used the occasion to propose to his longtime girlfriend, Cathy Hicks, who said yes.

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