According to its website, Brown Hope is "building a movement of interdependence, working with neighbors from all different backgrounds to inspire the racial justice and healing our communities need and deserve."
The group was founded in 2018 by Cameron Whitten, who was suspended from his position by the charity's board members for unspecified misconduct on December 8, reported the Willamette Week.
State's DOJ spokesperson Ellen Klem said on Monday that the agency's Charitable Activities Section will begin investigating the progressive organization in the coming days, according to Oregon Live.
Klem also told the outlet that Brown Hope failed to provide their 2021 tax filings by the deadline.
"I wouldn't say that's common," she said. "But I also wouldn't say it raises any huge alarms."
In a statement to KGW8, Brown Hope board president Gregory McKelvey said that Whitten was placed on leave for "multiple serious allegations," but didn't elaborate on what those were.
In a message to the Portland community, Whitten vowed to come forward with "transparency" after he figures out "what's going on."
"I am just as shocked as all of you at the recent events at Brown Hope. And I have many questions, like the rest of you," the charity's founder and CEO posted on Twitter.
"I intend to come forward with transparency after I take some time to collect my thoughts and increase my understanding of what's going on, and why," he continued.
In his statement, he noted that he would be out-of-town to travel and visit family, and announced a holiday fundraiser "to support community."
According to The Post Millennial's Andy Ngo, the organization is a "BLM-style group," run by "Antifa-supporter" and "one-time kidnapping suspect" McKelvey.
In 2018, the board president came under fire when Oregon Live reported on a 2011 arrest of McKelvey's, under suspicion he strangled and kidnapped his ex-girlfriend when he was 18.
The case was later dismissed.
"The group received more than $800k in taxpayer grants," Ngo added.
Brown Hope reportedly brought in almost $3 million in 2020, including over $800,000 in government grants.
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