Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox has accused a relative and former employee of ex-Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick of diverting thousands of dollars from a charitable fund for personal use.
Cox’s lawsuit filed Friday in Ingham County Circuit Court alleges Nneka Cheeks withdrew more than $24,000 from the Manoogian Mansion Restoration Society’s bank account between 2007 and 2009 for jewelry, golf and other benefits.
Cox alleges Cheeks withdrew over $7,000 in cash and initiated payments to third parties for goods and services unrelated to the society’s charitable purpose. Questionable payments included:
–$3,943.40 to Pioneer Credit Recovery
–$3,590 to the Roostertail Restaurant
–$2,631.06 to Jewelry Factory in Livonia
–$2,500 to Florida-based golf academy Leadbetter Orlando
–$1,865.51 in Paypal Payments
–$1,300 to Michigan Veterinary Specialists
–$1,140 to Brides Made Fit
–$450 to Charles Mok, D.O.
“The generosity of Michigan families and businesses is remarkable and good for our state, so it is important to ensure their charitable donations are used as intended-not stuffed into the pockets of people entrusted with managing the funds,” said Cox in a statement. “Residents are encouraged only to donate to charities they trust.”
The complaint asks the court to order Cheeks to account for the money, return it and pay damages worth triple what she’s accused of taking.
The Manoogian Mansion is the mayor’s official residence and where Kilpatrick lived. The Society was established in 1994 to assist the City of Detroit in restoring, furnishing, and preserving the Manoogian Mansion.
© MMX WWJ Radio, All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to his report.