March 04, 2015

Governance Scrutiny Prompts Reforms at Bernie Mac Charity

The medical charity founded by the late comedian and actor Bernie Mac has broadened its board and prohibited payment for members as part of a reform process prompted by regulatory scrutiny of its finances and leadership, the Chicago Tribune reports. The Bernie Mac Foundation also laid out a formal conflict-of-interest policy, according to documents filed as part of an audit by the Illinois attorney general’s office.

The Chicago-based foundation was launched by Mr. Mac in 2005 to fight sarcoidosis, a tissue condition from which he suffered that disproportionately affects African Americans. It came under scrutiny last year over reports that it spent little of its money on mission programs and was closely run by Mr. Mac’s widow, Rhonda McCullough, and members of her family.

While Ms. McCullough remains the foundation’s president, its board has been expanded from three to eight members and now includes outside professionals and community leaders. The charity has also halted consulting and management contracts with companies linked to its treasurer.