Kansas City, Mo. A government-commissioned audit released Wednesday found widespread accounting problems with a foundation led by the daughter of the lead plaintiff in the landmark Brown v. Board of Education school desegregation case, including nearly $621,000 in questioned costs.
Among the problematic expenses identified was the $72,000 paid annually to the Brown Foundation for Educational Equity, Excellence and Research’s chief operating officer. He was identified in an earlier investigative report as the boyfriend of the Topeka, Kan., organization’s leader, Cheryl Brown Henderson. Because the foundation paid for an outside accountant, the auditors could “not see any benefit” to his duties.
Foundation attorney Clint Patty said the report makes claims that aren’t supported by the 4,000 pages in documents provided to the auditors. For instance, he said that the auditors never spoke to the staff or chief operating officer about his duties, which included organizing events and arranging speakers.
“There is no real analysis of what he does,” Patty said. He said the foundation plans to sue in the next several weeks and that the defendants would be determined later.