Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has sued officials with the nonprofit Texas Highway Patrol Association and officials with a museum the association operates in San Antonio, claiming they have defrauded consumers by soliciting donations to help families of fallen troopers but often using the contributions as a personal bank account.
A 37-page lawsuit filed in Travis County late last week said the officials have used donations — the group receives up to $10,000 a day — to buy tickets to amusement parks and movie theaters and to pay for airfare across the United States.
The officials also have used association money for meals, dental bills, fitness centers and pet care, investigators said. The suit names as defendants the association, the San Antonio museum and 10 senior officials who help run the organization, including several board members.
Calls to a toll-free number for the Texas Highway Patrol Association were not returned Monday.
The lawsuit accuses defendants of falsely claiming that the association, which was formed in the 1990s, is a tax-exempt, charitable organization registered with the Internal Revenue Service. It is instead a nonprofit business league — not a charity.
The defendants also face civil penalties for falsely claiming that the entities are linked to the Texas Department of Public Safety and its highway patrol division, officials said. The organization is not affiliated with DPS.
Mighty sleazy way to make a buck. I hope they get what they deserve for this. See Grits for more.