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Paper: Nonprofit led by Baker under state investigation

Jonathan Mummolo

A nonprofit once headed by Prince George's County executive candidate Rushern L. Baker III is under state investigation for failing to disclose its finances for several consecutive years, the Washington Examiner reported Wednesday.

The paper writes that Baker's group, "Community Teachers Institute Inc., is in violation of a state law requiring nonprofits to submit financial information annually, according to the Maryland Secretary of State's Office. The nonprofit was running a nearly $500,000 deficit in 2006, the latest financial documentation on file with the state indicates.

Baker campaign spokesman James Adams said Tuesday that the charity submitted financial records for the missing years June 18, but Richard Morris, charities director for the Secretary of State's Office, said he has not received the documentation."

The revelations could be particularly harmful to Baker, who is campaigning on a platform of making Prince George's government more transparent. In May, he unveiled a comprehensive ethics reform package. He has also been voluntarily disclosing his campaign donors ahead of state-required deadlines, but only after weeks of intense questioning from reporters and a rival over the funding source of his slate.

Baker said Wednesday that the group fell behind reporting its finances to the state because its main source of funding dried up after Peter Greeman, chairman of the group's board of directors, died in 2007. He said Greeman headed a foundation in New York that funded the nonprofit, and left behind no plan for continuing to fund it. Until that was straightened out, Baker said, the group could not afford to pay independent auditors to perform the reviews required by the state.

Baker said the audits have just been completed and that the group, which he no longer leads, will be up to date with its state filings soon. He also disputed that the group was ever in as much as $500,000 debt, as the article stated.

He said the group is in about $60,000 debt, but that the nonprofit's financial director was "out of town" and not available to speak.

"Things are actually in very good shape in the organization," Baker said.

By Jonathan Mummolo  |  July 14, 2010; 3:40 PM ET
Categories:  2010 Elections , Prince George's County  
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Comments

Huh? But this is the same organization he's been trumpeting as his source of employment but he no longer runs as of today - when this story broke?? How do you take $100K from the organization in salary and pay a buddy $90K in salary and not have enough to pay your accountants which for an organization of this size should be no more than $8K worth of work. All you BAKERS have been had. There is a pattern here: poor fiscal management and single-source fundraising ($1M from the same developer) to support his two losing campaigns. Awful....just awful

Posted by: george_w_bush0 | July 14, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

this is what qualifies as news?

Posted by: heathgrom | July 14, 2010 7:34 PM | Report abuse

How can someone who mismanages a small non-profit feel he can run or manage an entire county!!!! These politricksters in PG kill me. Rushern Baker is a joke.

Posted by: omgypg | July 14, 2010 10:32 PM | Report abuse

This doesn't surprise me as it is common for Rushern Baker...take millions from David Hillman(Republican) then steal from charity. He is forever for sale and will do so if elected!!!!!This guy claims to be the person to save our Education system?? I do not think so please bring on a real candidate...

Posted by: BeanYPG | July 14, 2010 11:33 PM | Report abuse

That does it. I'm not voting for Rushern baker this fall. This is like the 5th thing in as many weeks as has broken about him and some scandal or poor mismanagement. Enough is enough.

Anyone know anything about Gerron Levi or Michael A. Jackson?

Posted by: thelongblueline | July 15, 2010 5:13 AM | Report abuse

The title sounded way worse than the actualy story. I appreciate him having an answer for it. Raising money for non-profits, particularly in this recession, is very difficult.

Posted by: Mom2-3 | July 15, 2010 7:09 AM | Report abuse

The title sounded much worse than the actual story. I appreciate him having an answer about it right away. There are alot of people in Prince George's who work for and run non-profits that can empathize with him about raising money during the recession. Its hard.

Posted by: Mom2-3 | July 15, 2010 7:13 AM | Report abuse

It is realize that Rushern Baker's non-profit disclosed its finances to the federal government and the IRS.

Although the same should have happened at the state level, the federal filings provide for full transparency. Anyone who wants to know how money was raised and spend can google the I-990 for themselves.

Posted by: Hellmut | July 15, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Ive seen so many articles about how dirty Baker is. People like him is why Prince Georges county need some change. I really hope he doesnt get elected

Posted by: mazdakfx | July 15, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Ive seen so many articles about how dirty Rushern L. Baker is. People like Rushern Baker are why Prince Georges county has such a bad name. I really hope Rushern Baker doesn't get elected.

Posted by: mazdakfx | July 15, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Hellmut, why the investigation then if there is transparency? Also, just because one is "transparent" doesn't mean that one isn't running a deficit or has bad accounting practices - you can be transparently bad! In addition, the inconsistencies will in all likelihood lead many to re-examine the federal 990 forms. It's amazing that this guy can take $1M from the same developer for 2 losing campaigns but for some reason can't get this same developer to donate to a faltering organization that allegedly supports education in PG -- priorities anyone??

Posted by: george_w_bush0 | July 20, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

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