The Southern Poverty Law Center has fired Morris Dees, the nonprofit civil rights organization's co-founder and former chief litigator.
Dees, 82, co-founded the Montgomery-based organization in 1971.
SPLC President Richard Cohen said in a statement Dees' dismissal was effective on Wednesday, March 13.
"As a civil rights organization, the SPLC is committed to ensuring that the conduct of our staff reflects the mission of the organization and the values we hope to instill in the world," Cohen said in the emailed statement. "When one of our own fails to meet those standards, no matter his or her role in the organization, we take it seriously and must take appropriate action."
"Today we announced a number of immediate, concrete next steps we’re taking, including bringing in an outside organization to conduct a comprehensive assessment of our internal climate and workplace practices, to ensure that our talented staff is working in the environment that they deserve – one in which all voices are heard and all staff members are respected."