Congressman Clyburn Steps Down as IAAM Board Chair

Mar 3, 2008

(Charleston, SC) -- Sixth District Congressman and House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn announced at today’s International African American Museum (IAAM) that he is stepping down as the museum’s board chairman.  The Congressman’s resignation was prompted by the formation of the architectural and design team that has been selected to oversee the museum’s design and construction phase. A staff member of a subcontractor of that architectural and design team, Derrick Ballard, is Congressman Clyburn’s nephew.  The Congressman didn’t want there to be any perceptions of conflicts of interest associated with this project, which he called “one of the most substantial things I have ever been connected with.”

“I didn’t participate in the process that led to the selection of Moody Nolan Predock as the museum’s design team, and no one on the board was aware of my relationship with Derrick when that selection was made,” Congressman Clyburn continued. “I certainly don’t want to be an obstacle to this bright, young man’s promising future.  And as a Member of Congress, I wouldn’t want to give anyone reason to question my motives or the validity of this project, which began as a mutual dream of Mayor Riley and myself some years ago and has gained the participation and support of so many others.”

“I am still committed to this project,” Congressman Clyburn concluded.  “I believe I can be just as effective, if not more effective in another role.”

Mayor Riley thanked Congressman Clyburn for what he called an “extraordinary act of public service.”

“This museum will be a tribute to Congressman Clyburn,” Mayor Riley said turning to his colleague. “It will be part of your legacy.”

Congressman Clyburn began serving as chair of the IAAM’s steering committee in August 2002.  Then in August 2005, he became chairman of the board.

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