Maryland officials are investigating an educational nonprofit group run by Prince George's County Executive candidate Rushern Baker for failing to report the charity's financial situation over the past three years.
Baker's Landover organization, Community Teachers Institute Inc., is in violation of a state law requiring nonprofits to submit financial information annually, according to the Maryland Secretary of State's Office. The nonprofit was running a nearly $500,000 deficit in 2006, the latest financial documentation on state record indicates.
Baker campaign spokesman James Adams said Tuesday the charity submitted financial records for the missing years on June 18, but Richard Morris, charities director for the Secretary of State's Office, said he still has not received the documentation.
The group holds information sessions and summer training programs to help teachers meet the needs of inner-city youth, according to Maureen Evans, interim executive director of the nonprofit. The last summer training program was held in 2006, she said.
From 2004 to 2006, the institute raked in about $1.8 million and spent more than $2.3 million, according to Internal Revenue Service forms for those years obtained by The Washington Examiner. During those years, the group spent $1.5 million on payroll, taxes and benefits, and spent $123,370 in direct funding to students and teachers.
Baker has been paying himself $100,000 a year from the charity's donations, according to the IRS forms. The forms indicate Baker paid Jacob Mann, his associate executive director, about $90,000 annually and gave his finance director between $35,000 and $56,000 for each year on record.
The Office of the Secretary of State is demanding about $1,000 in late fees from Baker's organization and will send an investigator to the nonprofit's office this week, Morris said.
The state requires charities receiving more than $25,000 in annual gross donations to file a special form detailing financials with the IRS and to submit that documentation to state.
The state notified the institute it was in violation of Maryland law in October 2007, August 2008 and again in October 2009, according to letters obtained by The Examiner.
"Our goal is to have finances available so when taxpayers are solicited for money, we can tell them how much these organizations are raising and spending," he said. "This raises a major red flag."
The nonprofit held an awards celebration and fundraiser last month at a Hilton Garden Inn that cost $50 a head.