Rachel Dolezal, the former president of the NAACP chapter in Spokane, Wash., has reached a settlement with the state on her welfare fraud case.
Dolezal, who officially changed her name to Nkechi Diallo in 2016, made national news after she misled people into believing she was African-American, although her parents came forward and told reporters that Dolezal is white. The incident, along with what constitutes “transracial,” was hotly discussed and debated across the country but Dolezal resigned from the NAACP under pressure.
Last month, Dolezal was ordered to pay restitution and complete 120 hours of community service to wrap up her case, according to Fox News.
“I think it’s a fair and equitable resolution of the matter,” Bevan Maxey, the attorney representing Dolezal, told KXLY news on Thursday. “I don’t believe she tried to obtain benefits that she wasn’t entitled to. Needless to say, she’s been through a lot. I believe this is the appropriate way to solve it.”
Dolezal, 41, was arrested in May 2018 and charged with first-degree theft by welfare fraud, second-degree perjury and false verification for public assistance, according to FOX 28. The charges stem from accusations that Dolezal took in nearly $9,000 in state assistance from August 2015 to November 2017, even though she deposited more than $80,000 in her bank account during the same period and failed to disclose this income to the state of Washington.
Investigators honed in on money earned and deposited from Dolezal’s 2015 book, In Full Color, and on speaking engagements the African studies professor landed.
But now the welfare fraud charges are all past her. Maxey told KXLY that Dolezal’s charges will be officially dropped following her agreement to the terms of the settlement.
“I think she’s anxious to move beyond this and move forward with a productive life. She’s a very intelligent and creative woman,” he told the TV station.