SPOKANE, Wash. — Rachel Dolezal faced tough questions about her racial identity long before her career as a civil rights advocate and expert on African-American culture was derailed by revelations that she grew up “Caucasian.”

More than a decade ago, Howard University’s lawyers questioned whether she had tried to pose as African-American when she applied for admission to the historically black college in the nation’s capital.

Dolezal had accused the university of denying her a teaching position because she was white.

Dolezal resigned her NAACP post this week after her parents accused her of posing as black despite her Czech, German and Swedish ancestry. She now faces a swirl of criticism about other statements she has made.

On Wednesday, the city of Spokane concluded that Dolezal violated its harassment policy when she “engaged in conduct that humiliated, insulted or degraded” a city worker; abused her authority and showed bias against police by “participating publically and vocally in protests of recent officer-involved shootings.”

The city’s Ethics Commission, meanwhile, is investigating whether she lied about her race on her application to the oversight board last year by presenting herself as the daughter of a black police officer from Oakland, California.

Civil rights leaders worry about the damage she has done.

“It’s a poke in the eye of other leaders who had been working in the trenches and doing things,” said former Spokane NAACP President James Wilburn.

Dolezal, who appears quite fair and with straight blond hair in childhood photos, now presents a light brown complexion.