Dallas Police Association officials said the widow of slain officer Lorne Ahrens is the only person who has a problem with the way donations to families are being handled.
Dallas Detective Katrina Ahrens has filed a lawsuit against DPA, the Assist the Officer foundation its chairman Frederick Frazier. She's suing to "compel the ATO ...to transfer her donations and provide an accounting of all funds received on behalf of the families of the five fallen officers."
More than $10 million was given to the Assist The Officer foundation and placed in a trust for the families of the five fallen officers.
Estate planning and probate attorney Brandy Baxter-Thompson, not involved in the case, explained that a “pot trust” is a pool of money available for distribution to multiple beneficiaries
“The person that is a beneficiary may make a request for distribution for their health, for their education, for their maintenance and their support and the trustee has the discretion to determine whether the request falls within that standard,” Baxter-Thompson said.
While Ahrens is entitled to a full accounting, Baxter-Thompson said the idea behind a trust is typically distribution -- not division of funds.
“If one person were to receive a substantial amount out of this trust and they passed away the next day then that money would no longer be for the benefit of the beneficiaries of the pot trust,” Baxter-Thompson said.
Ahrens attorney Casey Griffith claims that two weeks ago they offered to give Ahrens a check.
“But she had to agree to keep her mouth shut and she had to agree not to ask any more questions,” Griffith said.
DPA'S Mike Mata says Ahrens is the only one of the five fallen officers families that’s balking at the trust fund or the agreements required to sign for distribution.
“They in no way in any way shape or form have shown any type of displeasure & are in agreement with the trust fund mandate,” the DPA’s Mike Mata. “They understand why we we're doing it -- that we were looking out for everybody's best interest.”
In this case, there is a separate trust set up for each surviving spouse and child of the fallen officers. Each has a trustee managing their trust account.
A hearing is set for July 10 on the temporary restraining order Ahrens has in place to prevent any movement of funds allocated for her and her family.