Report on AACOG scandal released
Investigation finds wrongdoing by top managers
After a month long investigation, a report was released Wednesday into the scandal that has rocked the Alamo Area Council of Governments, resulting in the departure of its top leaders.
In great detail Bob Peden of Peden Investigations told AACOG Board Members what he found out about the relationship between former AACOG Executive Director Dean Danos, former Deputy Executive Director Michael Quinn and Jackie Cooper of the TriHM Foundation.
The board's conclusion from Peden's report was that Cooper promised rent money and millions of dollars in grants to AACOG and never delivered and that Danos and Quinn acted inappropriately. Board Chairman Kevin Wolff was relieved to finally have everything in the open.
"I feel like this is the first day where I can see light at the end of the tunnel," Wolff said.
But he did say AACOG must still recover from the black eye.
"It looks like we've cut all the cancer out," Wolff said. "We've done what we need to do to take care of things here. The bad news is we've got a hill to climb now. This did cost taxpayer money. It did cost AACOG money and it cost us in reputation."
In real taxpayer dollars he estimates it was close to a quarter of a million.
Board Member Doug Miller, a Republican state representative from New Braunfels, is relieved as well and hopes things are in place that will guard against such actions in the future.
"Regardless of what happened, we need to make sure this doesn't happen again," Miller said. "If we don't have that trust relationship then we're not going to be able to fund those programs and the public's going to lose."
Other items being discussed by board members include the possible filing of criminal charges and civil lawsuits against Danos and Quinn over their roles at the agency and legal remedies on how to collect rent money from Jackie Cooper.
"If there is a legal means that AACOG can take against these individuals then that's going to be my recommendation to the board," Wolff said.
He also said it costs money to file lawsuits and that he will also guard against throwing good money after bad.
The investigation into the AACOG scandal cost $6,000 and those results will be turned over to the Texas Rangers and any other agency doing criminal investigations into what happened.
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