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NAMIC Backs CEO After Audit

Diversity-Focused Group Investigated Claims Made Anonymously In March 7/09/2013 8:20 AM Eastern

The National Association for Multi-Ethnicity In Communications board of directors said that, following an independent audit, it has cleared president and CEO Nicol Turner-Lee of claims of improprieties that were made against her in an anonymous email four months ago.

In a statement board chairman Michael Armstrong issued today, NAMIC said an independent auditing firm hired by the diversity organization found no “impropriety on the part of the association or its President and Chief Executive Officer.”

NAMIC's board ordered the audit after an anonymous e-mail was sent this past March to cable trade publications and industry organizations from someone using the name “Tony Stark” and supposedly representing NAMIC members. The organization, founded in 1980, has a reported 2,100 members and has a goal of encouraging and supporting multi-ethnicity in the ranks of communications industries.

Armstrong’s statement said: “NAMIC has completed the fact finding process initiated to address the anonymous email circulated on Friday, March 8, 2013. Enlisting the services of an independent auditing firm, NAMIC can report that the information gathered does not reflect any impropriety on the part of the association or its President and Chief Executive Officer. Also, NAMIC's membership is consistent with prior trending, and relationships with our vendors including the Darden School of Business, are in good standing. On behalf of NAMIC, the Board thanks its members, supporters and other key stakeholders for their patience demonstrated during this period of inquiry.”

The e-mail had expressed “concerns” about Turner-Lee’s handling of NAMIC funds after taking the operational helm of the diversity-based organization in April 2012. The e-mail also made claims about outstanding debts owed to the Darden School – NAMIC’s executive education partner -- and “deteriorating relationships” with high-profile vendors including the Hilton New York Hotel, which hosted NAMIC’s annual conference last September.

NAMIC is scheduled to host its NAMIC Vision Awards event this Thursday in Los Angeles after pushing the ceremony back from the original date of May 23.

September