A scandal-hit diversity, equity and inclusion consultant has accused a Vermont mayor of white supremacy after an official report found she overspent by $192,000 while planning a Juneteenth celebration.
Tyeastia Green was the first person appointed by the city of Burlington to head a newly-created Racial Equity, Inclusion and Belonging office, in April 2020.
She left in March 2022 to return to Minneapolis, where she was from, and work there – but after less than a year amid questions about her financial management.
Burlington, hearing of the Minneapolis debacle, began investigating Green’s work in the Vermont city and found similar financial irregularities.
Green angrily denied the allegations on Thursday, and called the mayor of Burlington, Miro Weinberger, a white supremacist.
‘White supremacy does not mean that you have a hood and a robe in your closet,’ she told WCAX News.
‘That’s not what that means. It means that you’re going to do everything that you can to make sure that whiteness is the standard.
‘And that’s exactly what Miro does. He makes sure that whiteness is the standard, look at his leadership team.’
Tyeastia Green worked as the director of Burlington’s newly-created Racial Equity, Inclusion and Belonging office from April 2020 until March 2022. On Thursday she reacted angrily to accusations of financial carelessness
Green called Miro Weinberger, the mayor of Burlington, a white supremacist
The mayor’s spokesman said Green failed to respond to the questions about her financial dealings.
‘Once again Tyeastia is responding to public concern about her professional work by making personal accusations against others,’ the mayor’s office told WCAX.
‘Following the events in Minneapolis, it would have been professional malfeasance for Burlington not to commission this report.’
The Burlington mayor’s report looked at the financing of a Juneteenth celebration in 2022, which Green planned, and which was held shortly after Green left.
They found Green did not follow city policy, which ordered that city officials use the best value vendors for events.
Instead, they found Green opted for more expensive vendors, which cost the city an additional $132,000.
The city also accused her of a lack of communication about budgets and fundraising.
Green was accused of failing to communicate about budgets and fundraising for the 2022 Juneteenth celebrations
A report from the City Hall in Burlington found she overspent on vendors
Green was accused of being careless with spending for the festival, but she pointed out she was clear of fraud or embezzlement
Green told WCAX that her office had nothing to do with the event planning and contracts for Juneteenth, and said the city’s report cleared her of any allegations of fraud or embezzlement.
Green claimed that the only reason the event was reviewed was because it was organized by and in celebration of black people.
Vermont is 93.8 percent white: only Maine has a higher percentage of white people.
The city said that if Green still worked there, she would be facing significant punishment.
‘If they were still city employees we would be considering serious sanctions against them now,’ the spokesman said.
Green’s year working at Minneapolis City Hall, from March 2022 until March 2023, saw allegations that she asked to go on a taxpayer-funded leadership retreat and oversaw the spending of almost $500,000 on an underwhelming Black Expo event.
Green is pictured in March 2022, when she returned to her hometown of Minneapolis to work at City Hall
Green wanted to go to the See Change event in Burlington, Vermont, which lists activities such as snow kiting and yoga.
It also offered a series of talks, including ones titled ‘Letting go of your climate guilt’ and ‘Demystifying climate justice.’
Green sought $2,433.21 for event registration, airfare and a travel agent fee.
The City denied the request.
Green was also criticized for her organization of Minneapolis’s inaugural ‘I am Ancestors Wildest Dreams’ business expo, held in February 2023.
One local business owner told local media she was promised that 20,000 people were expected to attend, but only a few hundred turned up.
Green defended the expenditure, and said it was within budget.
Green in Minneapolis, as in Vermont, accused her former colleagues of racism.
She said Minneapolis City Hall had a ‘toxic work culture’ and claimed she was made to work in an office where she could hear nearby jail inmates crying through the walls.
She also accused several senior black officials – including President Andrea Jenkins and member LaTrisha Vetaw – of being ‘anti-black.’ Jenkins replied that she is ‘not anti-black, I am anti-incompetent.’