Paper: Nonprofit led by Baker under state investigation
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.
July 14, 2010; 3:40 PM ET
Categories: 2010 Elections , Prince George's County
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