Reggie Anders Sr. is suing the outspoken preacher after he claims Sharpton took no action in his discrimination dispute with Verizon, the New York Post reports.
Anders claims that he agreed to pay Sharpton $16,000 – in cash – in exchange for him publicizing the dispute in the media and on his weekly radio broadcast, as well as setting up mediation meetings with the communications giant.
It was only later he read a report in the New York Post claiming that the preacher, and his National Action Network (NAN), received thousands of dollars in donations from Verizon and other large corporations in what the newspaper alleged what ‘protection money’. Firms that didn’t pay up were threatened with bad press or boycotts, it reported last year.
‘He’s a crook, he’s a fraud, and that’s all he is,’Anders told the Post. ‘He didn’t do anything he promised. Absolutely nothing.’
Anders says that when he called Sharpton to confront him about his lack of action, and links with Verizon, that the civil rights leaders was furious. ‘He said people write stuff about him all the time,’ Anders said. Representatives for Sharpton deny the claims which they have branded ‘untrue and frivolous’.
Anders was advised to get in touch with Sharpton last year by his own minister, the Rev. David Wade of Phoenix, when his 2009 case against Verizon – who he claims were in breach of contract and discriminated against him – after his suit was thrown out in 2014. He and his pastor then flew out for a meeting at NAN headquarters in Harlem in March 2015.
Sharpton agreed to help on one condition. He wanted $16,000, in cash. Anders say he never explained why. ‘I thought he was an honest guy,’ he said. ‘I thought he would do what he said he would do.’
Anders’s suit seeks $1.75 million in damages from Sharpton and Verizon for ‘conspiring’ against him.
Michael Hardy, of NAN, told DailyMail.com that Rev. Sharpton had never accepted money from Anders and called his allegations ‘frivolous and untrue.’ He confirmed that Anders had reached out to NAN, through his pastor, and the organization had followed up by making inquiries to Verizon.
But he said that their research found his claims were ‘frivolous’, ‘not to mention that he had already lost his 2014 lawsuit.’ Asked specifically about the claims Sharpton had accepted $16,000 in cash from Anders, he said: ‘There was no money ever given to Rev Sharpton. ‘We would deny that, we don’t believe that he gave him any money. I think a lot of times people think they can get an advantage by making allegations against Rev Sharpton.’ He added that they had not yet seen Anders’ lawsuit but they would be responding accordingly.
When asked about Anders by the Post, Sharpton responded: ‘Who? I have no idea what you’re talking about.’
It is not the first time Sharpton has been accused of being overly concerned with money. In February last year, NYPD chokehold victim Eric Garner’s daughter called out the civil rights leader for being obsessed with financial gain, according to new undercover video. Erica Snipes, the daughter of Eric Garner who died in Staten Island in 2014 after a New York City Police officer put him in a chokehold, aired her complaints during a secretly recorded conversation with two conservative activists.
The undercover video was released by undercover filmmaker James O’Keefe’s group,Project Veritas. ‘You think Al Sharpton is kind of like a crook in a sense?’ one of the undercover investigators posing as an Eric Garner supporter asked Erica Snipes. ‘He’s about this,’ Snipes replied rubbing her thumb and index finger together in a universal sign symbolizing money.
‘He’s about money with you?’ the Project Veritas staffer asked, to which Snipes, 25, replied in the affirmative.
On his part, Rev Sharpton, 61, accused O’Keefe’s conservative group of ‘exploiting’ Eric Garner’s daughter, whom he described as a ‘sincere victim.’
‘They’re splicing and dicing stuff together,’ he said. ‘It was a distortion.’ Sharpton insisted that his organization, which is dedicated to helping small businesses and low-income families, does not take money from them.
The revered is an outspoken supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement. He recently criticized those calling to scale back or stop rallies organized by BLM.
Sharpton added that numerous protests create a climate for change and provide participants a sense of sanity amid rising gun-related violence. He also deplored the killing of police officers in Dallas last week. ‘Don’t paint us as anti-cop. We are not anti-police. We’re anti-wrong,’ he said.