Like almost any issue there are two sides. The side making the most “newsworthy” claim is likely to get the press. Such is so relative to the ongoing legal battle between the leadership of the AKA Sorority and a group of disaffected members who have charged the current Sorority President, Barbara McKinzie with fiduciary malfeasance and outright theft of the organizations’ funds.
One of the key accusations against Mrs Mckinzie is that she commissioned a $900,000 wax statue of herself to be added to The National Great Blacks in Wax Museum. The Founder of the Museum, Dr. Joane M. Martin seeks to set the record straight in an open letter tot he AKA Sorors –
Why, now, our community-based, grassroots, make-a-way-out-of-no-way organization finds itself having to fend off lies and half truths about $900,000 wax figures, I am at a loss to understand. I cannot imagine any museum bold enough to charge $900,000 for a wax figure or any organization crazy enough to pay that amount. Certainly not The National Great Blacks In Wax Museum…
And certainly not the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., a venerable sorority whose story we are proud to tell. We have wax figures of the founders of AKA, Delta Sigma Theta, Zeta Phi Beta as well as Chi Eta Phi Professional Nursing Sorority, The Prince Hall Masons, the Links, the National Council of Negro Women, and the National Political Congress of Black Women. Each of these figures was funded by their organizations. We spotlight the history of the Presidents: Dorothy Height (NCNW; William Hayling, Nathaniel Goldston, Thomas Dortch (100 Black Men of America); Barack Obama (the U.S.A.)…
For the record, they will likely be charged our standard fee that thus far has not exceeded $25,000 per figure. The AKA’s paid $22,500 per figure for a total of $45,000. That’s a far cry from $900,000!
However, that has not stopped the charges and counter-charges from flying. Most recently, Lawyers representing the disaffected Sorors charged additional malfeasance –
In the weeks since an explosive lawsuit was filed against the leadership of Alpha Kappa Alpha, the organization’s embattled president, Barbara McKinzie, allegedly received nearly $500,000 in checks from the sorority’s general funds, according to an attorney for the members seeking to depose the current leadership.
The payments — which were apparently written in June and July and were designated on the ledger as being for “retirement” — add another twist to the unfolding controversy that has roiled the nation’s oldest black sorority. On June 20, eight members of the organization filed suit in D.C. Superior Court, alleging a long list of financial improprieties, including $900,000 for a wax statue of McKinzie, personal use of a corporate credit card and hundreds of thousands of dollars of unauthorized payments to McKinzie. All of these occurred before the latest disbursements.
McKinzie allegedly received more than five checks since litigation became imminent — two were issued on June 19 and three were issued on July 28. All were payable directly to her.
An anonymous source provided copies of the checks and ledger entries to attorneys for the plaintiffs, according to an attorney for the plaintiffs, but the documents’ authenticity has not been established.
An independent audit made available to the membership – might be a hell of a lot cheaper way to settle this…
Than paying Lawyers.