Embattled Urban League President Marcus Mundy stepped down as president of the North Portland civil rights organization today.
"We will be releasing a statement in the next hour," says Urban League Board Treasurer Charles Wilhoite, "But he has tendered his resignation. He did not want to be a distraction to the League's mission."
The move comes three days after WW reported longstanding financial control deficiencies at the League, which has operated in Portland since 1945. Multnomah County and outside auditors found that over the past 2 1/2 years, Mundy racked up $44,000 in charges on the League's credit card that had no documented business purpose.
Multnomah County, which provides more than 20 percent of the League's $1 million annual budget the biggest single source of funding.
Meanwhile, another state agency wants to know what the Urban League was doing. Yesterday, the Oregon Department of Justice requested all the county's audit documents.
Today, the Oregon Health Authority also requested documents, according to county spokesman David Austin. The Urban League provides services to low-income seniors, after school programs for low-income kids and has also been a contractor signing up children for the state's expanded "healthy kids" insurance program.
Updated at 5:30 pm:
Late this afternoon, Urban League Board President Lolenzo Poe and Board Treasurer Charles Wilhoite released the following statement:
The Urban League of Portland announced today the resignation of League President Marcus Mundy. Quentin Strode, former U.S. Bank executive, will assume the role of interim president as the League begins a search for the new leader. Strode most recently served as Senior Vice President and Region Manager for the Portland and Southwest Washington Metro Branches of U.S. Bank. “We truly appreciate the commitment, passion and energy that Marcus has brought to the position over the past five years advancing the Urban League's mission,” said Lolenzo Poe, Urban League of Portland Board Chair. “The entire state has benefited from his efforts. We wish him all the best as he moves into the next phase of his life and career.”
The county's position, however is that Poe and Wilhoite, who records show failed to rein in Mundy's spending despite repeated warnings from auditors, still have some work to do if they want to hold onto the League's biggest source of funding.
"Multnomah County remains committed to the seniors and other vulnerable populations who count on services delivered by the Urban League," says county spokesman David Austin. "While Mr. Mundy’s decision to step down is between him and the Urban League board, county officials and citizens need to make sure that tight fiscal controls are in place in order for the relationship to continue."
In terms of the county's earlier threat to cut off funding if the League does not shape up, Austin says Mundy's departure changes nothing. "They have until next week to come up with a plan to fix their controls or funding is in jeopardy," Austin says.