By Edwin Crayton
Henry O Flipper Foundation (HOFF) has filed a suit against the Natchitoches Community Improvement Foundation (NCIF) alleging that NCIF did not properly review HOFF’s application for a $200,000 grant which HOFF wanted in order to build affordable housing in Natchitoches. But court documents also say on October 23, 2018 there was a meeting between NCIF Board Members and HOFF supporters to discuss HOFF’s grant proposal. In signed affidavits, three witness allege that at that meeting NCIF Chairman Leo Walker said, “What’s in it for me?” HOFF is arguing in its suit that this is an ethical violation. It also makes several other complaints against NCIF—primarily the following: HOFF alleges NCIF has violated its bylaws by neglecting to have annual audits per the bylaws. It alleges it has reason to believe NCIF has given scholarships to family and friends in violation of NCIF guidelines. HOFF alleges NCIF failed to follow NCIF’s guidelines in considering HOFF’s grant proposal. HOFF alleges NCIF is in violation of the 2003 and 2014 court orders which guide NCIF. HOFF alleges it has reason to believe NCIF has failed to publish minutes of meetings in the local newspaper per their guidelines. HOFF is asking the court to direct NCIF to conduct an annual audit of the books and records of NCIF, by a certified public accountant. It wants that audit published in the Natchitoches Times. It wants all minutes of the foundation published in the Natchitoches Times. It wants NCIF to solicit grant proposals for affordable housing and economic development initiatives. It wants NCIF to hire a competent executive director with expertise in grant writing and managing a nonprofit. It wants NCIF to write grant applications for additional funding
A hearing has been scheduled for Tuesday, June 11, 2019 in the Main Courthouse at 9 AM. A complete file of the lawsuit is available at the Clerk of Court’s Office (Ask for either AG Greggory files—the June 11 HOFF suit or file #60626 A). Natchitoches Community Improvement Foundation (NCIF) is court-ordered to distribute 1.8 million to citizens of the City of Natchitoches in the areas of recreation, education, housing and economic development. NCIF meets quarterly on the second Tuesday. Meetings are open to the public and the next meeting is July9, 2019, 7pm at First Baptist Amulet Street.
By Edwin Crayton