Anyone with Internet access could have spotted that the Christmas Bureau of Austin and Travis County president had racked up three theft convictions long before ascending to the charity’s top spot — a job that gave him direct access to tens of thousands of dollars in public donations.
But, apparently, nobody did. Including “representatives of the organization that was most closely connected to the Austin Police Department and had the easiest access to criminal records: Blue Santa.”
Way to go, APD.
A criminal background check was never done on Washington. Tax forms haven’t been filed since 2010. And, although the organization has been designated by the IRS as a nonprofit, the Christmas Bureau isn’t an official Texas charity because it never filed the appropriate paperwork with the Secretary of State’s office.
Also interesting: the “board” (or the former board, depending on how you look at it) is remaining silent. One former president, and the guy who set up the organization’s PayPal account, “declined through his lawyer to comment due to the ongoing investigation.” A second former president, who allegedly brought Shon Washington into the organization, also declined to comment.
“Like a dolphin into a tuna net.” I cannot lie: I live for analogies like that.