A Georgia voter registration project founded by failed Democrat gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams is facing scrutiny for financial corruption, a six-month-long Politico investigation revealed.
The New Georgia Project (NGP), once headed by leftist Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA), was founded to “build power with and increase the civic participation of the New Georgia Majority—Black, Latinx, AAPI, and young Georgians,” according to their website.
Revelations about NGP’s internal investigation into suspected financial mismanagement came from the Politico report that dug into the sudden departure of their longtime director Nsé Ufot, who the group is demanding repay thousands of dollars in “non-work-related” reimbursements.
Ufot referred to the allegations against her as “a fucking lie,” according to the outlet’s investigative report.
NGP is now under an external ethics investigation from the state of Georgia, suspected of participating in unlawful political activity as well as being in a dispute with the IRS over payroll taxes, which new CEO Kendra Davenport Cotton claimed to Politico has been settled.
The outlet’s report cited financial disclosures, internal documents, and interviews with former staffers to back up the claims of corruption, including examples of improper expense tracking on prepaid Visa gift cards to employees, and failures to account for salary advances.
NGP, as well as their 501(c)4 action fund, NGPAF, raked in a whopping $36.4 million during the 2020 election cycle, and $16.1 million in 2021.
According to former employees who were questioned, the mismanagement of the multimillion dollar pot led to the allegations of financial corruption.
“We’re going to do a forensic look at our records,” Frank Wilson, chair of NGPAF, told Politico. “We’ll start at the beginning, and just lay it out, clean it up and redirect as necessary.”
Wilson said the group wants to “be in a position where anybody who will come — be it authorities, be it media, be it whomever — we will not be concerned about who looks at our records because we’ll have all our I’s dotted and T’s crossed.”
“So I’m comfortable with that, you know, and I’ll almost welcome it,” he added.
Abrams founded NGP in 2014, when she was a Georgia state representative. However, she has not been involved in an official capacity since her first run for governor in 2018, when she attempted to flip the seat blue from Gov. Brian Kemp (R) and lost, but refused to concede. She again lost to the Republican in 2022.
Warnock became the chair of NGP in 2017 when it officially registered as a 501(c)3 group, then left when he began his 2020 run for the U.S. Senate.
“Not at all,” he told Politico when asked if he had any knowledge of impropriety by NGP.
Staffers interviewed by Politico noted the brazen confidence amid alleged mismanagement at the height of recent elections’ voter registration drives.
Former staffers interviewed as part of the outlet’s investigation recalled how the influx of money seemed to corrupt the group from its mission of registering underrepresented Georgia voters in order to flip the state from Republican control.
“I went there all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, but I’m disillusioned now,” one ex-employee said. “I got the assumption that it was driven by ego after the 2020 elections. That there was this: ‘We can do anything we want, look at how much money we got.’”
“I think these things combined with no checks and balances, not having an operations department in place that is allowed to put in policies, procedures and safeguards — which is what I thought I was hired to do — and the rapid growth has just facilitated this.”
Another former employee denounced NGP’s “complete failure of leadership.”
According to Ufot, the financial mismanagement is “the subject of an active dispute right now between me and NGP and their lawyers.
“It’s complete bullshit,” she told Politico.