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Southern Poverty Law Center won’t say if president was paid on way out door

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Peter Hasson, DCNF

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The Southern Poverty Law Center won’t say if it former president Richard Cohen received a settlement in relation to his resignation from the embattled left-wing nonprofit.

Cohen announced his resignation on Friday, nine days after the SPLC fired co-founder Morris Dees on March 13. The SPLC has come under fire over allegations of racial discrimination and sexual harassment under Cohen’s and Dees’ leadership.

A spokesman for the SPLC did not return a voicemail and multiple emails from The Daily Caller News Foundation inquiring whether either Dees or Cohen were compensated in relation to their departure.

The SPLC recently reported more than half a billion dollars in assets, including $121 million in off-shore funds.

Dees said he was fired before he could reach a settlement with the SPLC, The New York Times reported Monday evening.

Dees is alleged to have sexually harassed women working at the SPLC, though he denies doing so. The Times described Dees’ career as “shadowed by questions of sexual misconduct and racism.”

Cohen, who served as president since 2003, is alleged to have turned a blind eye to discrimination and harassment within the SPLC.

“Whatever problems exist at the SPLC happened on my watch, so I take responsibility for them,” Cohen stated in announcing his resignation Friday.

SPLC employees were long aware of racial issues and sexual harassment within the organization, former SPLC staffer Bob Moser recounted in a scathing essay published in The New Yorker on Thursday.

Moser, now a Rolling Stone reporter, described the SPLC as a “highly-profitable scam” that “never lived up to the values it espoused,” despite its portrayal to gullible donors.

“We were part of the con, and we knew it,” Moser wrote.

The SPLC is known to label pedestrian conservative organizations as “hate groups,” and is a key resource for AmazonGoogle and other tech companies in policing “hate speech.”

Follow Hasson on Twitter @PeterJHasson

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