Dallas keeps $2,000 found by honest teen

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by CRAIG CIVALE

WFAA

Posted on May 10, 2011 at 10:02 PM

Updated Wednesday, May 11 at 11:35 AM

Poll:
Should Ashley Donaldson be allowed to keep the cash that she found?

DALLAS — Dallas  will keep $2,000 found by a teenager in a parking lot last February.

The money will go into the city's general fund —   not back to Plano high school student Ashley Donaldson, who found the cash in an envelope at the Pavillion Shopping Center in North Dallas.

"I don't regret making the decision I did," she said. "I feel proud of myself for giving the money back. It's one of the biggest decisions of my life."

The 15-year-old Shepton High School student spotted the money on the ground and took it to a nearby Chase Bank.

Over the last three months, the bank and Dallas police have tried to find the owner, but have had no luck.

On Tuesday, police said under a new city policy, the unclaimed money will go into Dallas' general fund — not back to the person who found it, as in years past.

"We appreciate your honesty," said Dallas police spokesman Senior Cpl. Kevin Janse. "We're going to put the money to good use. It's not going to be wasted, but put to good use for the City of Dallas."

That's not the answer Ashley Donaldson had been hoping for. "I was thinking about a car," she confessed.

It's also not the lesson her parents wanted her to learn.

"I'm happy that she did what she did, but the way it ended? I wish she didn't find it in the first place, because it certainly didn't teach her the right thing," her father Ben Donaldson said.

At the time Ashley found the envelope full of money, she was living in a one-bedroom apartment with her parents and her  four brothers and sisters.

The family had recently moved to Texas from Colorado and could have used the money, but she felt that the $2,000 might mean more to its owner.

"This could be someone else's life, this could be someone's home," she said. "If I took it, I could never live down the guilt that would be in me."

Ashley said the bank was surprised to see such honesty, but her parents weren't.

"It was like an experience that presented itself — like a test — and my daughter passed with flying colors beautifully," said Ben Donaldson.

E-mail ccivale@wfaa.com


Any comments that mention "donation sites" are not verified and have not been set up by a legitimate bank.  

News 8 will announce a fund that has been officially set up by the family on News 8 at 5 p.m.

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