Dispute Over Historic Site Intensifies

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Cheryl Brown-Henderson says the the Brown vs. Board of Education legacy is under attack. Henderson is the daughter of Oliver Brown, one of the plaintiffs in the historic case.

Creating the historic site has been her passion, but the National Park Service is kicking her out. In 2004, the Brown vs. Board of Education historic site opened to much fare. There was event a presidential visit. Brown-Henderson says 14 years of hard work finally paid off.

"I jokingly tell people when you start something of that magnitude you can't walk away," Brown Henderson said. "You have to stay there and make sure it's nourished. It's like giving birth, really."

She says the historic site has been her baby. Now, it appears the relationship between her Brown foundation and the National Parks Service is crumbling.

"It's troubling and perplexing," she said.

The Parks Service gave the Brown Foundation until December first to pack up and move out of the  historic site.

"We were surprised we were being asked to separate ourselves from something we'd worked so hard to make possible," Brown-Henderson said.

She says she has no idea why it went sour because Parks Services won't discuss it with her.

"Whenever there is someone who isn't pleased in a marriage, you sit down and have a dialogue and then decide what will happen going forward," she said. "That dialogue has not occurred."

She knows what she's seen in the news. A federal investigation accused her of a conflict of interest because while she ran the historic site for six months she didn't limit her involvement with the Brown Foundation. The feds also conducted an audit of the Brown Foundation but the results haven't been made public yet.

"We''re confident our records are in order," she said. "This was an audit unlike any we had experienced. It was not a professional type audit we were familiar with."

Brown-Henderson says this fight isn't over because she's really fighting for her family's legacy.

"We cannot allow significant parts of our past to be diminished or disparaged and to be used to create a cloud of suspicion," she said. "It's not acceptable.

Brown-Henderson and her lawyer tell FOX 4 they have also been working with Bob Dole and Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins and they have been working to set up meetings with Parks Services. They remain hopeful that the dispute can be resolved.

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