The Maryland State Conference of the NAACP has stepped in to stabilize operations at the Baltimore Branch in the wake of last week’s departure of local president Tessa Hill-Aston. State President Gerald Stansbury confirmed the Baltimore branch is under Level Two Administrative oversight, meaning the Maryland state branch is in charge of the Baltimore office’s operations.
“Any actions taken at this time by the Baltimore branch until they are back in compliance with National NAACP standards have to be cleared through the Maryland State Administrator. At this time, I have been named the Administrator,” Stansbury told the AFRO.
Stansbury, who was re-elected at the Maryland State Conference meeting this past weekend, will be meeting with branch leadership in the coming days to restore branch operations, initiate a schedule of mandatory training and ensure local operations are conducted in compliance with the national office. First Vice President Ronald Flamer has assumed the Presidency of the local branch during the transition.
“It’s going to take a little time” Stansbury said suggesting it may take up to a year for the branch to resume regular operating status. “Everyone will have an understanding of what the by-laws are, what the Constitution entails and that will be refreshing for the organization,” Stansbury said.
NAACP National Board member Wandra Ashley-Williams confirmed that Hill-Aston and two other former city-chapter officers were suspended Oct. 21. Hill-Aston has given a series of interviews to local media claiming she resigned and was not removed from her position.
Recently, the Baltimore Sun wrote of Hill Aston’s departure: “In an interview…Hill-Aston, 68 cited completing goals, such as hosting the national NAACP convention this past summer, as contributing to her decision. But she also said internal strife at the civil rights organization wore on her. “I’m tired,” she said. “My work is done here. Ever since I became the president, I desperately wanted to have the convention. The fundraising was spectacular. It was a great attendance.
She did not respond to a request for comment. “We’re moving forward, and everyone is going to move forward together,” said Ashley-Williams. She said that the national office would issue a statement within the coming week.
Malik Russell, director of press operations for the national office, could not be reached for comment. At press deadline, the National Office had still not issued a statement more than a week after Tessa Hill-Aston’s departure from the Baltimore Office.