Rachel Dolezal, the white woman who gained notoriety by allegedly claiming to be black and eventually becoming an NAACP chapter president, was booked Monday on charges of welfare fraud at the Spokane County jail in Washington state.
The Washington Post reported that a judge’s order let her be released on her own recognizance on July 2. Dolezal could face up to 15 years in prison for illegally receiving thousands of dollars in public assistance if convicted.
Fox News reported that Dolezal pleaded not guilty last month to first-degree theft by welfare fraud, making a false verification statement, and second-degree perjury. As reported by the Inquisitr in May of 2018, Dolezal was investigated after reporting her income as under $500 per month in order to be eligible for state welfare and food assistance. She reportedly received more than $8,800 between August 2015 and November 2017.
The Washington Post reported that “according to a subpoena of her bank statements and other records, she had made nearly $84,000 over those three years, from her autobiography, In Full Color, from speaking engagements and sales of home-made products.”
In order to distance herself from the drama surrounding the claim that she was “transracial” as president of the NAACP chapter in Spokane, Washington, Dolezal changed her name to Nkechi Diallo in 2017.
Dolezal’s parents took the woman to task, proving that she was not “transracial” but instead a white woman.
CNN reported that Dolezal, who made headlines in 2015 after she was exposed as a white woman who had been representing herself as black, said she still believes race is a “social construct.”
“I haven’t identified as African-American. I’ve identified as black. And black is a culture, a philosophy, a political and social view,” Dolezal explained in an interview with CNN.
In speaking with MSNBC, Dolezal claimed the following in a statement.
“It means that I have really gone there with the experience in terms of being a mother with two black sons,” she told Melissa Harris-Perry in an interview that aired on All In with Chris Hayes. “From a very young age, I felt a spiritual, visceral, instinctual connection with black is beautiful. I didn’t know how to articulate that as a young child … But that certainly was shut down. I mean I was socially conditioned to not own that and to be limited to whatever biological identity was being thrust upon me and being narrated to me.”
An investigator began looking into Dolezal after she wrote a book and made public statements that she was receiving public assistance, according to court documents and reported by USA Today. An investigation into her finances found that Dolezal deposited about $83,924 into her bank account in several monthly installments between August 2015 and September 2017. She did not report this money to the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services.
A trial is set to begin September 10, 2018.