Rachel Dolezal Could Face Ethics Charges in 'Blackface' Charade

Former NAACP head may have violated city rules by lying about her race

Photo: (Colin Mulvany/The Spokesman-Review/AP

The Spokane Mayor and City Council President launched an investigation Monday into Rachel Dolezal, the white woman masquerading as black, to determine if she violated the city’s code of ethics when she lied on an application to become a member of a police oversight commission, according the city spokesperson.

Dolezal checked off a box on her application, obtained by PEOPLE, claiming she is Black/African-American.

However, it doesn’t look like Dolezal will be facing criminal charges. “I’ve been in contact with the city attorney and at this point there is no indication she’s broken any laws as it relates to the application,” spokesman Brian Coddington tells PEOPLE.

In a statement released Monday, Spokane Mayor David Condon and City Council President Ben Stuckart say that the “alleged misrepresentation” by Dolezal detracts from the city’s efforts “to being transparent in our work.”

“Much has been made about ethnicity,” they state, “but our concerns are focused squarely on the expectation that our volunteers adhere to the standards of truthfulness, transparency and integrity they agree to when they apply for and join a board or commission.”

Also in the application, Dolezal writes she is a professor at Eastern Washington University. But the school issued a statement saying she is not a professor, but a teacher “on a quarter by quarter basis as an instructor in the Africana Education program Dolezal is not a professor.” The school has also erased an online profile of her that was on its website.

Dave Meany, a spokesman for Eastern Washington University, told PEOPLE that Dolezal has been with the department since 2010, but “her latest contract expired and she is no longer employed by the university.”

RELATED VIDEO: Spokane NAACP President Quits Over Race Controversy

In addition, court documents surfaced on Monday that show Dolezal sued Howard University in 2002 for denying her teaching posts and a scholarship because she was white. Dolezal’s lawsuit claimed “discrimination based on race, pregnancy, family responsibilities and gender,” according to a Court of Appeals opinion. The complaint was dismissed in 2004.

Earlier on Monday, Dolezal announced her resignation as president of the Spokane NAACP.

Related Articles