The Bank Letter That Led To Bobby Simmons’ Suspension From the NAACP

Board of Education member Bobby Simmons has provided OIB the letter in question that led to his suspension as a member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People by the national civil rights organization’s President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous who claims Simmons and three officers prepared an unauthorized letter removing two officers of the local NAACP branch as signatories of the branch bank account at People’s United Bank, in violation of NAACP policy.

Simmons and three local branch officers at odds with Greater Bridgeport NAACP President Carolyn Vermont over disclosure of financial information have been suspended from the NAACP. For background see here.

On Nov. 18 2012, Simmons, as executive committee member, Keith Williams, 1st vice president, Jeffrey Baldwin, 2nd vice president and Delores Crawford Carey, the secretary, signed and issued the following letter to the bank, according to a copy of the letter Simmons provided OIB. Letter follows:

Subject: Please remove present signatures of President/Carolyn Vermont Fuller and Treasurer/Errol Earle as designated signers on the Greater Bridgeport Branch NAACP People’s Bank Account.

Dear Bank President/Officer:

We the Executive Officers Committee Members of the Greater Bridgeport Branch N.A.A.C.P hereby authorize you to give our 1st Vice President, Kenneth Williams who is an elected official of the branch authorization and access to obtain the information and correspondence from the Greater Bridgeport Branch N.A.A.C.P bank account and exclusively in addition to implement our motion to have the 1st Vice President, Kenneth Williams as signer on the account.

This decision was voted upon and by majority vote of our Executive Committee Members/Officers and general Membership Body held on October 11 2012 and cannot be changed without the signatures of the same stated in this letter.

As our branch moves forward in compliance with our Constitution and Unit Bylaws, we extend our deepest thanks and consideration with you and your staff. We apologize for any uncertainty in the past and move forward in a working relationship with the People’s United Bank.

Thanking you in advance for your time and cooperation in this matter.

Sincerely yours,

Greater Bridgeport NAACP Branch

Executive Officers

Signatures follow with a copy to Vermont. As confusion mounted within the local NAACP branch as a result of the letter, a representative of People’s United Bank contacted Scott Esdaile, the Connecticut NAACP president and national board member, who notified the national president of a possible rules violations. It has led to the suspension of Simmons and three others. Simmons is appealing the suspension.



  1. The key statement in the letter is, “This decision was voted upon and by majority vote of our Executive Committee Members/Officers and general Membership Body held on October 11 2012.”

  2. That is a big part of the problem with this letter. The Executive Committee NEVER voted on this action. No such meeting ever took place. The Executive Committee did not even know about the bank letter until the bank notified NAACP. Four individuals decided to act for the entire Executive Committee without ever notifying the Executive Committee. Check with the Executive Committee and ask them if they ever voted on the action that was taken. Ask them if they knew anything about this letter prior to the bank notifying NAACP. The Executive Committee members are Mary Bruce, Sylvia Martin, Vanessa Williams, Joanne Butler, Immacula Cann, Craig Kelly, Sonny Gardner, Warren White, Eroll Earl, Carolyn Vermont, Bobbi Brown, Jeremy Jamison, Gloria Brown and Rev. Michael Jamison.

  3. Carolyn Vermont, I will ask you again. You are representing the questions and concerns Bobby Simmons had with bank statements and supporting financial records involving cash receipts and disbursements were made known to the membership and those seeking that information. If that’s true then what was the date of that meeting?


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