Former Spokane NAACP Leader Facing Welfare Fraud, Identity Charges
Back in February 2017, Rachel Dolezal was forced to step down from her position as the leader of the Spokane chapter of the NAACP, after it was learned she was actually a white person who 'identified' as black. It created a flurry of national news, and was a very big story in Eastern Washington. Dolezal had risen quickly to positions of prominence in the black community, for her outspoken leadership and opinions.
Dolezal, who later admitted her past, claimed she "identified" as a black person after her parents adopted four black children. She was accused of being a fraud, and stepped away. In the time since then Dolezal applied for public assistance, claiming no one would hire her after she lost her Eastern Washington University teaching job.
According to Freebeacon.com and The Hill online, government officials began to look into her finances in March of 2017 after she published a book entitled In Full Color. It reportedly detailed her 'trans-racial' identity which Freebeacon says caused a rift in the black community and NAACP leadership.
During that early 2017 period, Dolezal applied for an received over $8,000 in public assistance, based upon a reported income of only $500. She claimed no one would hire her, and she had been shunned by her former academic community.
However, officials noticed after her book was released, she deposited over $84,000 in her bank account without reporting it to DSHS officials. The money, according to KHQ-TV in Spokane, came from book sales and related speaking engagements. Public assistance recipients are legally required to report all income and any such changes to determine if they remain eligible for continued financial help.
Tuesday, she was charged with welfare fraud and false identity verification in court in Spokane.