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McCoy removed as Chesterfield Branch NAACP president

11/27/2019, 6 p.m.
LaSalle J. “L.J.” McCoy Jr. has led the Chesterfield Branch NAACP for 11 years. But on Nov. 12, Mr. McCoy ...
Mr. McCoy

LaSalle J. “L.J.” McCoy Jr. has led the Chesterfield Branch NAACP for 11 years.

But on Nov. 12, Mr. McCoy abruptly was replaced.

Avohom “Vo” Carpenter was appointed to replace him.

While Mr. McCoy told the Free Press on Tuesday that he has yet to receive an official letter from the national office stating that he has been ousted, state NAACP President Robert N. Barnette Jr. confirmed that Mr. McCoy is no longer the Chesterfield NAACP president.

Mr. Barnette said that he was notified that national NAACP President Derrick Johnson removed Mr. McCoy and installed Mr. Carpenter to serve out the remainder of Mr. McCoy’s term until new branch elections are held in November 2020.

In addition, Mr. Johnson suspended Mr. McCoy’s membership in the NAACP, according to information obtained by the Free Press, even though Mr. McCoy holds separate silver and gold life memberships.

While Mr. McCoy told the Free Press on Tuesday that he has yet to receive an official letter from the national office stating that he has been ousted, state NAACP President Robert N. Barnette Jr. confirmed that Mr. McCoy is no longer the Chesterfield NAACP president.

Mr. Barnette said that he was notified that national NAACP President Derrick Johnson removed Mr. McCoy and installed Mr. Carpenter to serve out the remainder of Mr. McCoy’s term until new branch elections are held in November 2020.

Mr. McCoy, who denied the allegations, refused to turn over the branch’s books to Ms. Martin or allow her to become a signatory on the branch’s checking account, making it impossible for her to write checks or track branch spending.

“As a matter of principle, I am not going to cooperate with someone who has brought a criminal charge or a “lawsuit against me,” Mr. McCoy said.

The state NAACP brought in a mediator to handle the situation between Mr. McCoy and Ms. Martin, but that failed, Mr. McCoy said. Gloria Sweet-Love, the administrator the national office appointed earlier this year to manage the state NAACP, set a Sept. 30 deadline for him to turn over the books and bank account to Ms. Martin, but he said he let the deadline pass.

Mr. McCoy said he received verbal notice that Mr. Johnson in the national office had taken some action against him just before the civil rights organization’s state convention in early November. He said Ms. Sweet-Love told him on Oct. 31 that he had been removed as secretary of the state NAACP and was barred from taking minutes during the state convention.

Mr. McCoy said he would have run for re- election as state secretary, but Ms. Sweet-Love told him he could not. At the convention, Rita Irving of Montgomery County was elected as the new state secretary.

Mr. McCoy said he is frustrated the national office has not sent him a certified letter to his home address notifying him of the action taken against him as other branch and state presidents have received when Mr. Johnson ousted them.

Mr. McCoy said he wants to appeal Mr. Johnson’s decision, but “I need that letter.”

The national bylaws provide for an appeal process.