Trial delayed for former Colours director

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A trial set to begin Thursday in the embezzlement case against the executive director of a local LGBT organization was delayed.

Ralph Godbolt was slated for trial July 17 at the Criminal Justice Center, but his defense attorney requested a continuance, which was granted by Common Pleas Court Judge Giovanni Campbell.

Defense attorney Michael Benz told the judge that the high volume of paperwork in the case necessitated more preparation time. A new trial date of Oct. 23 was set.

Godbolt, 40, was the executive director of The Colours Organization, Inc., an LGBT people of color organization. Godbolt took over the helm of the agency in the spring of 2012.

He is no longer listed as executive director on the organization’s website.

According to court records, Godbolt was arrested Jan. 9 for offenses that occurred June 20, 2012. Godbolt allegedly stole money from Colours, although the total amount in question is unclear.

He faces charges of theft by unlawful taking, theft by deception, receiving stolen property and theft by failure to make the required disposition of funds received.

Godbolt took over as director of Colours after former director Robert Burns passed away suddenly at the end of 2011. Prior to Burns’ tenure, another director, Dorena Kearney, who served at the helm from 2001-07, was indicted for embezzling more than $130,000 from the organization. Kearney pleaded guilty in 2009 and was sentenced to one year in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release.

At the time of his hiring as executive director, Godbolt, a straight ally, was on the faculty at Cheyney University. He previously taught at Chestnut Hill College and Neumann University. He founded a north-central Pennsylvania multipurpose community center and previously served as executive director of Special Olympics Philadelphia.