BALTIMORE – The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom announced Friday evening that interim executive director Leigha Fleming, who passed away on Thursday, had diverted $60,000 for personal expenses since September 2011.
Fleming had also been a leader in the establishing the Women’s Leather History Project at the Leather Archives & Museum. She also served as Charman of the Board between 2008 and 2011.
The announcement also came during a year that saw former IMsL owner Glenda Rider announcing she had diverted funds for that contest.
The NCSF said in a statement sent out to members and posted on their website that the group’s board was acting to recover as much of the funds as possible. They have filed a lawsuit and alerted law enforcement.
The board also authorized an outside financial review of the books of the NCSF, a 501(c)4 membership organization, and Stephanie Sassy Lynn has been appointed the new Treasurer. The NCSF-Foundation 501(c)3 account, which received all of the donations for their “Office Fire Fundraiser” following last year’s fire in their offices, was not involved in this matter and continues to be overseen by the Foundation Treasurer, Jim Fleckenstein.
“Going forward, the Board is working on ensuring our membership organization is in rigorous compliance with our financial policies and procedures,” NCSF stated in the announcement. “Several changes have been made to our financial policies to ensure that an opportunity for a repeat of this behavior is not possible, and this situation can never re-occur.”
The NCSF said it operates on a budget of $60-70,000 per year and regretted lost opportunities. “Our volunteer staff members freely give their time, heart and energy to fight discrimination and persecution, and we feel betrayed and devastated.”
We’ll report more as information becomes available.
UPDATED: The NCSF posted this comment on their Facebook page after being asked why the group made the announcement the day after Fleming’s death:
We discovered it on Thursday December 12th after Leigha closed the separate account she had opened under NCSF’s ID. Our board is responsible for oversight, as well as our former Treasurer who had direct oversight over Leigha, who acted as our bookkeeper for many many years. That Treasurer has resigned – she didn’t know about the new account Leigha had opened and she is assisting the investigation in every way possible. We couldn’t go public with it until we filed a civil lawsuit, but Leigha’s death makes that moot. Instead we are filing in probate court, and our attorney gave us permission to inform our Coalition Partners.