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If You're Unhappy the City Kept $2,000 Girl Turned In, You're Not Alone. Right, Mr. Mayor?

Ashley Donaldson discovered that it doesn't always pay to be honest. Will the city make it right?
Ashley Donaldson discovered that it doesn't always pay to be honest. Will the city make it right?
WFAA-Channel 8

Speaking of getting city officials' responses to WFAA-Channel 8 stories ...

Maybe you saw the story last night about 15-year-old Ashley Donaldson, who found $2,000 stuffed into an envelope and, though her family sure could use the bread, did the right thing and turned it in. According to Ashley, she took it to a nearby Chase branch and was told she'd get the money back if no one showed up to claim it. Three months later, despite the best efforts of Chase and the Dallas Police Department, no one did.

So Ashley thought she'd get the money. Unh-unh. Right now, at least, it's going to the city of Dallas's general fund, per a recently put-in-place policy, according to Dallas PD spokesman Senior Corporal Kevin Janse, who told Craig Civale, "It's not going to be wasted, but put to good use for the city of Dallas."

So I called City Hall to see what policy that might be -- especially since Ashley's story is this close to going national. Turns out, city officials are trying to see what policy Janse's referring to.

City Manager Mary Suhm tells Unfair Park, "We're working on seeing what our responsibilities in the matter are and trying to resolve it." She says to check back later today, when she hopes to have a better explanation and, just maybe, a resolution.

And Chris Heinbaugh in Mayor Dwaine Caraway's office just sent a lengthy statement from the mayor, who says, in part, "I saw the story and like everyone else, I was very proud of her and very sympathetic as well. This young lady could have kept her mouth shut and kept this money, but instead she did the right thing."

He wants the money to go back to Ashley. But can it? Should it? Will it? He explains why on the other side, where you'll also find the full account from Channel 8. Updates forthcoming. Now jump, but leave the money where you found it.

Here's Mayor Dwaine Caraway's full statement:

I saw the story and like everyone else, I was very proud of her and very sympathetic as well. This young lady could have kept her mouth shut and kept this money, but instead she did the right thing.

Clearly, there are policies in place on how to handle money like this, and the City Manager is looking into those policies to see exactly what they are, where they come from and if they allow us other options on how to handle lost and found money. I also think once we get those answers, we need to take a closer look to make sure that the policy makes sense.

When someone finds money we recognize that whoever lost it may really need that money, and it's important we make every effort to find the rightful owner. If we aren't able to do that, we should put those funds back in the hands of the person who was honest enough to turn it in to begin with.

But we also may have a situation where the amount of money is really large and could likely be drug money. Should that be handled the same way? Those are some of the things I think we need to know more about and understand.


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