After scrutiny, EMIRE House apparently suspends operations

Founder confirms: Group ceases operations

by Matt Comer  Editor  editor@goqnotes.com
Published: February 8, 2013 in Breaking News

Originally published: Feb. 8, 2013, 9:01 a.m.
Updated: Feb. 8, 2013, 3:05 p.m.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The founder of a new non-profit organization formed to work with young adults confirmed reports on Friday afternoon that the group is ceasing operations after scrutiny from this newspaper and others.

“Envy My Illumination and Realize Excellence” House (EMIRE House) was established in 2012 by Charlotte’s Brian Brigham, a registered sex offender convicted in 1999 in a South Carolina federal court for possessing child pornography and for enticing a 13-year-old male and 16-year-old male. Brigham had also been convicted in 2010 in Union County, N.C., on three felony fraud charges.

A report exploring Brigham and EMIRE House was published on Tuesday. A follow-up on Wednesday revealed several gaps among local law enforcement’s knowledge of some offenders’ criminal histories and local LGBT organizations’ youth safety policies.

Brigham had described EMIRE House as his opportunity to make amends for his past mistakes and make a difference in other people’s lives. He said he should not be judged by his past and was deserving of a second chance.

After the reports this week, unconfirmed reports to qnotes indicated that Brigham had apparently decided to either cease his involvement with EMIRE House or to close the organization.

On Wednesday, the EMIRE house website had been taken offline and on Thursday a fundraising website had also been taken down.

Brigham confirmed to qnotes on Friday afternoon that EMIRE House was ceasing operations, noting that recent news reports had made it difficult for him to continue. He said the money he has raised would be dispensed according to the wishes of an uncle and a friend who were helping him establish the organization.

This is a developing story. Stay tuned for updates.