Gilchrist Fights to Regain Control of Minutemen

The Los Angeles Times reports that failed congressional candidate and Minutemen co-founder Jim Gilchrist is fighting a pitched battle against the organization’s board after being ousted for mismanagement:

Gilchrist, 58, a national figure in the fight against illegal immigration, was removed as president of the Minuteman Project this month by its board of directors, which accused him of abusing his power and leaving more than $400,000 of the organization’s money unaccounted for.

Deborah Courtney, the group’s recently appointed treasurer, said in an interview that a direct mail company helped raise $750,000 for the group in 2006, but that she believes the Minuteman campaign received only $311,000. Courtney said she and others had been unable to trace the rest of the money.

They also said he should not have used $13,000 in Minuteman funds to defend himself in court against their allegations. He said the group must pay to defend itself against “rogues.”

Some of Gilchrist’s opponents recently filed a complaint against their former leader with the Internal Revenue Service, alleging that he did not obtain nonprofit status for the group. They say he improperly received a 40% discount nonprofit postal rate by using another organization’s nonprofit status.