Tuesday, February 13, 2001

Group protests minister's removal from state board

By Marie McCain
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Supporters of the Rev. Damon Lynch III will head to Columbus on Wednesday to protest his removal from a state advisory council overseeing issues of juvenile justice.

        “We want Rev. Lynch to be reappointed to chair that council and we want to make our presence known at the state level — that we are a group of grass-roots concerned citizens,” Juleana Frierson, chief of staff with the Cincinnati Black United Front, said Monday.

        The group will be bringing petitions circulated Sunday at the Rev. Mr. Lynch's New Prospect Baptist Church in Over-the-Rhine.

        The CBUF, which has become known for its boycotts of downtown restaurants and businesses, is headed by the Rev. Mr. Lynch.

        Organizers plan to visit the offices of state senators and representatives from Hamil ton County in the hopes of gaining their assistance in getting the Rev. Mr. Lynch reinstated as chairman of the Governor's Council on Juvenile Justice.

        State officials say he was never officially appointed as chairman and misunderstood that he was being considered for the position.

        The Rev. Mr. Lynch, however, said he was introduced as the new chairman and was even given stationery with his name and new position.

        He said state officials began rethinking his involvement on the council after being contacted by the state Fraternal Order of Police. The union, because of his vocal stance against racial profiling and the death of an unarmed black man in police custody, objected to his appointment, he maintains.

        “It was decided he was not the best fit for the position,” said Orest Holubec, director of state Boards and Commissions.


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