#AceWorldNews – Nov.18: Beulah Nash-Teachey won her seat back in the special election of the NAACP Augusta Branch. The final vote will be verified by the national office. Nash-Teachey ran against Charles Smith, her predecessor who was ousted a year ago by the State President of the Georgia NAACP Francys Johnson following controversy surrounding Smith’s past.
Dozens gathered outside of the branch office starting at 4 o’clock to protest. The organization I Breathe I Rise led the demonstration along with women who came forward in the past with allegations that Smith sexually abused them during his time as band director of Josey High School. One of those women, Ebony Harvey, told News channel 6 she needed members of the branch to vote.
“Please don’t stay home and feel like I don’t want to deal with this. I’m not going to vote. Your vote does count. There’s only a small number of people in the NAACP here in Augusta. I don’t think many of them are as active as they should be, but they need to come out and vote,” she said prior to the vote.
While the group carried on with its protest, the organization formed the ballot. Johnson shared information about a new state law expanding sexual abuse victims’ rights during a brief meeting prior to voting. Along with talking about the Hidden Predator Act, Smith updated members about on going litigation. National Board members verified the ballot and then voting took place.
Smith sat in during the talk. Following the meeting, he spoke with media. He would not address the allegations of sexual abuse, but later shared that the district attorney rendered a four page letter clarifying that there was no sexual abuse on his part. He has maintained his innocence and stated he was never charged with a crime.
Smith went on to say the election was not fair due to interference and voter intimidation by Johnson. He said the election procedure manual calls for a prepared ballot with all candidates names listed. He said the national office has been notified of what he is calling election violations.
“Regardless to who wins, it’s not about the presidency. It’s about the members, officers and executive members engaging and embracing the community. What transpired with a group that goes way back the the administration of Dennis Williams who orchestrated this along with Jesse Willard, I’m calling names. I defeated Dennis Williams in 2013. 95 votes to 13 and ever since that election he has been harassing me and trying to force me out of the position,” Smith said.
Nash-Teachey told News Channel 6 she wants to recruit more youth moving forward.
Harvey said she is not giving up on her quest for justice, as seen in this I Breath I Rise documentary, Journey for Justice Survivors of Sexual Abuse. She’s also going to look more into the Hidden Predator Act.
“We plan on speaking at churches and schools and educating students on the grooming process and things like that,” she said.