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It’s a shame that the National Conference of Black Mayors is going broke – or at the very least falling on hard financial times.

Two weeks ago, the board of directors of the National Conference of Black Mayors voted to fire its executive director, Vanessa Williams, who was accused of spending $623,000 for her personal use without board approval.

In short, Williams allegedly stole the organization’s money and bought expensive items for herself  at Tiffany’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, Juicy Couture, Louis Vuitton, ticket broker StubHub, Toys ‘R’ Us, private Christian school tuition and cash payments to Vanessa Williams and her husband.

Williams appears to be one bold woman. The board tried to fire Williams months ago, but she refused to quit. I suppose she felt there was no need to jump off the gravy train. Williams, however, blamed the debt on embezzlement by a former board member but the board fired Williams, in part, because she refused to hand over the financial documents they requested.

To make matters worse, the National Conference of Black Mayors is $1 million in debt to the IRS and numerous other creditors.

A friend called and posed this question: If the black mayors can’t run their own organization, how can they effectively run their cities?

It’s a fair question from a concerned constituent.

Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson is trying desperately to restore integrity to the organization by paying off creditors and returning the National Conference of Black Mayors to solid financial standing.

But this will certainly take some time.

If Black Mayors Can’t Run Their Own Organization, How Can They Run Their Cities?  was originally published on

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