SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Former Shreveport NAACP President Michael Lafitte spoke exclusively with KTAL/KMSS Thursday about his resignation, which was prompted in part by his role at the Woodlawn Terrace Apartments, where tenants complained about poor living conditions and treatment by property management.

Lafitte on Woodlawn Terrace Apartments:

Lafitte, who became part of the new ownership of Woodlawn Estates last November, says the apartment has been “in that type of situation and been in disarray in those types of living conditions for many, many years.”

“You can ask any of the seniors in this community,” Lafitte said.

Lafitte says he is the comptroller at the apartment complex, not the property manager.

“As a comptroller, I’m responsible for is making sure the bills are paid; making sure the vendors are paid. So, I’m more or less in control of making sure that the day to day operations go forth,” he said, adding that his role is “making sure all the monies are paid to the appropriate people, and that all the monies are collected so we can pay the appropriate people.”

As far as the property’s current condition, Lafitte says the property looks “excellent” compared to what it looked like before he took on the role of comptroller.

Regardless, Lafitte says, everyone should be held accountable.

“But while you’re holding us accountable, we have to make sure that we hold you accountable. We want to have that property be the beacon of light over in that part of town. We absolutely want that, and we will have that because that is our major desire,” says Lafitte.

Lafitte on his resignation:

“It had nothing to do with any of my business ventures. It had nothing to do with the stuff at Woodlawn Terrace, and it had nothing to do with that group of folks who came out to say something. It was just, I’ve taking the branch as far as I could take it with my skills set.”

Lafitte added, however, his resignation did not come overnight. He said he spoke privately with NAACP Regional Vice President Lee Jeter and state president Michael McClanahan on Dec. 16 about his decision.

Lafitte said he formally resigned last week.

“We had a formal board meeting where I had to formally announce this to the board. So when you follow the rules, you follow the rules. I just can’t say, ‘you know what? To the heck with it, I’m done.’ Yes, I could, but that’s not following the rules. That’s not showing respect to the organization.”

Lafitte, who was sworn in as president last March, says he made some mistakes along the way, and he has since taken accountability.

“Let’s get the right people in place who can take this to the next level and allow me to work under that leadership. Just because you lead something that doesn’t mean you’re the right leader; that doesn’t mean you’re an effective leader,” Lafitte said.

“In this particular case, if I was not the right leader, that’s fine. A good leader knows when to take a seat.”