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Leader of Los Angeles NAACP resigns amid fury over Sterling honor

Leon Jenkins, head of the Los Angeles NAACP, resigned over his decision to give Donald Sterling an award.

Nick Ut/Associated Press/file

Leon Jenkins, head of the Los Angeles NAACP, resigned over his decision to give Donald Sterling an award.

LOS ANGELES — The president of the Los Angeles chapter of the NAACP has resigned following outrage over a decision he later reversed to give Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling an award for promoting civil rights.

Leon Jenkins was to honor Sterling later this month but rescinded that offer Monday after a recording of racist statements by the real-estate mogul was made public.

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In a letter to the national leader of the NAACP, Jenkins wrote that he resigned Thursday ‘‘to separate the Los Angeles NAACP and the NAACP from the negative exposure I have caused.’’

Jenkins also has had legal problems that came into focus this week. He has been banned for years from practicing law in California because of allegations that include corruption.

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Even before the recording, the decision to give Sterling a ‘‘lifetime achievement award’’ May 15 at the 100th anniversary celebration of the Los Angeles chapter was questioned by some civil rights activists, who cited allegations of discrimination in Sterling’s past.

The US Justice Department sued Sterling in August 2006, alleging housing discrimination in the Koreatown area of Los Angeles.

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