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What we find out about SPLC’s firing of co-founder Morris Dees
Nate Chute, USA At the moment Community

The Southern Poverty Regulation Middle fired Morris Dees, the nonprofit civil rights group’s co-founder and former chief litigator.

SPLC President Richard Cohen stated in a press release Dees’ dismissal over his misconduct was effective on Wednesday, March thirteen. When pressed for details on what led to the termination, the group declined to elaborate.

“As a civil rights group, the SPLC is committed to making sure that the conduct of our employees displays the mission of the group and the values we hope to instill on the earth,” Cohen stated in the emailed statement. “When certainly one of our personal fails to satisfy these standards, regardless of his or her position within the organization, we take it critically and must take applicable action.”

Morris Dees (Photograph: Melanie Rodgers Cox)

Dees, eighty two, co-based the Montgomery-based mostly group in 1971. 

“It was not my choice, what they did,” Dees stated when reached by telephone. “I wish the middle the very best. No matter reasons that they had of theirs, I don’t know.”

On Thursday, he stated he hadn’t tried a case in a minimum of a decade and hadn’t just lately been concerned within the day-to-day operations of the SPLC. 

Morris Dees: 5 things to know about the SPLC co-founder

Dees’ termination is one of several steps taken by the organization this week, Cohen said. 

“Today we announced a number of immediate, concrete next steps we’re taking, including bringing in an outside organization to conduct a comprehensive assessment of our internal climate and workplace practices, to ensure that our talented staff is working in the environment that they deserve — one in which all voices are heard and all staff members are respected,” Cohen said.

What the SPLC wants the “next steps” to address or correct remains unclear. An SPLC spokesperson said the organization was “in the process of hiring” the firm for the workplace climate assessment, and no other leadership changes had been announced. 

A message seeking further comment was left on Cohen’s cell phone Thursday afternoon.

“I’ve read the statement they issued,” Dees said when asked if he knew why he was fired. “I feel like some of the things in the statement were unfortunate. But I refuse to say anything negative about the center or its employees. I’ll let my life’s work and reputation speak for itself.”

When asked if he was offered the chance to resign or retire, the 82-year-old said, “I’ve told you all I can tell you.”

Dees’ biography appeared scrubbed from the SPLC’s website as news broke of his termination on Thursday afternoon. 

Morris Dees, SPLC funding and civil rights cases

A Montgomery native, Dees attended Sidney Lanier High School. He burnished his marketing chops by managing a direct sale book publishing company while attending the University of Alabama, where he also earned a law degree. 

After returning home to establish a law practice in 1960, Dees won a series of civil rights…