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Kids Hope Alliance CEO Joe Peppers resigns from position

The CEO had been on administrative leave since summer 2019, after claiming Mayor Lenny Curry’s office pressured him to steer grant money to favored nonprofits.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Kids Hope Alliance CEO Joe Peppers resigned from his position Saturday, according to a letter that he sent out to the chairman and community of the KHA.

Peppers had been on administrative leave since last summer, after claiming that Mayor Lenny Curry’s office pressured him to steer grant money to certain favored nonprofits.

Peppers' letter detailing his resignation can be read below:

"Dear Kevin and the Kids Hope Alliance Community,

After careful consideration, I have decided to resign from Kids Hope Alliance effective immediately. I deeply regret having to make this decision, but I know that this is the right decision to make which will allow KHA to find a new leader. I am incredibly grateful to the board for affording me the opportunity to be Kids Hope Alliance's first CEO. My transition from the board to CEO was met with much consternation from many different people, but everyone on the board always treated me with respect, love, and grace.

In these uncertain and difficult times, I concluded that by resigning and freeing up necessary funds, I will better advance KHA’s important mission.

To the staff, I want to say thank you for being so supportive of me and praying for me. There are no words that can express my gratitude to those of you who prayed for me and supported me from start to finish.

To the children of Jacksonville, I will always wish I could have done more. In 2008, while on deployment to Iraq working with the State Department all I ever dreamed of was coming home to help children that grew up like me or worse. I wanted to serve you first and foremost because I knew what it was like to carry the pain of abuse and neglect. I also understand how hard it is for you to overcome the depths of poverty. My mission in life will always be to fight for you the way I fought for our country.

Hopefully, in the future, KHA can become a truly independent agency, similar to Jacksonville’s other independent agencies.

I met so many amazing people while at KHA and some of them fight for the children of Jacksonville with almost no credit. Thank you for taking the time to meet with me and share your life with me. Thank you for everything you do for the children of Duval. Thank you for your support and in many cases friendship.

God Bless you all!


Joe Peppers"

City of Jacksonville Director of Public Affairs Nikki Kimbleton released a statement saying, “As Mr. Peppers remains the subject of an ongoing Inspector General investigation, I can simply say the administration is grateful that additional resources are now available for the work that KHA for our city’s kids and families.”

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