taj_brown.jpgMIAMI – Five persons turned out Tuesday for a protest at the Belafonte TACOLCY Center in Liberty City, calling for the ouster of CEO Taj Brown and the board of directors for alleged mismanagement at the organization that has served the predominantly black neighborhood for nearly a half a century.

Bettye Stokeling, spokeswoman for Concerned Citizens for the Preservation of Tacolcy, said the group is demanding new leadership and fears TACOLCY will suffer the same fate of JESCA, another social service agency that was forced to close after filing for bankruptcy in 2009 after some 80 years of operation.

Stokeling said her group wants TACOLCY to hold a public accounting of its finances to alleviate fears that the center is in jeopardy of closing its doors.

“This is about supporting and protecting an agency that’s served our community for close to 50 years,” Stokeling said. Brown dismissed the group’s allegations in an interview with South Florida Times last week, describing it as comprising disgruntled supporters who are not happy with changes the center has made since former CEO Allison Austin resigned a year ago.

Brown also denied the group’s claims the Miami-Dade Office of the Inspector General is investigating the center for alleged “mishandling of funds.”

The OIG has said that as a matter of policy it does not comment when complaints are filed or if investigations are under way.