Dallas mayor sympathizes with teen who found $2,000

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by SHELLY SLATER

Bio | Email | Follow: @wfaashelly

WFAA

Posted on May 11, 2011 at 5:00 PM

Updated Wednesday, May 11 at 9:29 PM

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

DALLAS — The News 8 story about Plano high school student Ashley Donaldson — who found $2,000 in cash last February and then immediately turned it in — has captured the imagination of thousands of people, including Dallas Mayor Dwaine Caraway.

"I saw the news story myself, and my heart went out to say, 'Give her the money!'" the mayor said.

But Ashley didn't get the money. Dallas police said a new policy requires any unclaimed funds to go to the city's general fund — not back to the person who found it.

"That's why we're having this discussion now to review that policy," Caraway said, adding: "I'm very proud of that young lady, and of her parents. I'm happy she is a citizen of our city."

The city struggled to find the old policy that lets the city pocket the $2,000 Ashley found. Caraway said he wants to check to see if the policy is linked to any state law.

Bottom line: The only way to give Donaldson the money back now is to find loopholes.

"Those are steps where you may have to involve the police chief, magistrates, or some of those folks that may have to sign off on it," the mayor said.

Now the police chief is involved, putting out a public notice for anyone to claim the money is theirs. But why was the policy changed in the first place?

"I have not a clue, but it's something I will bring up for review," Caraway said. "We must follow the policy. My personal sentiment is the same as the e-mailers. However, there is still a policy in place."

E-mail sslater@wfaa.com

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