Harris County Precinct One Constable Alan Rosen was front and center on Thursday announcing the donation of more than $180,000 to the South Texas College of Law Eviction Defense Project.
That money is part of the over $250,000 raised by the precinct and its foundation nearly a year ago through a GoFundMe account to help people facing evictions.
Rosen made it clear that his team wanted to show where the money was being steered.
“We also have a slide that also shows how every penny of this money has been spent, where it’s been spent, and how it’s been spent,” said Rosen.
This donation comes a little over a month after KPRC 2 Investigates first exposed that more than $180,000 of the money raised, in association with the Constable’s office, had not immediately been used to help people being evicted. Instead, it was placed in an account associated with the constable’s foundation.
“There is money that is sitting in a bank account that oversees the board that oversees that foundation,” said Assistant Chief Carl Shaw in July.
We wanted to know everything about the money. When asked if there were any issues in producing all the invoices and payments associated with the money, Shaw said: “Absolutely not.”
However, no invoices or payment records were received, despite multiple emails to the precinct and the foundation. Eventually, a representative for the precinct said the Constable’s office would not turn over the records because they didn’t like the previous reporting on what happened to the money raised, adding, “They don’t like you. Period.”
On Friday, the Constable’s office foundation produced a two-page breakdown as to how the remaining $180,000 was being spent.
In a conversation with KPRC 2, Chief Shaw says the reason why the Constable’s office and its foundation waited nearly a year to spend the remaining money is due to the eviction moratorium not having reached its conclusion. Shaw also added they wanted to take their time to identify the best approach to spend the donations.
The precinct said they have helped nearly 1,200 families navigate the system thus far to obtain money. The precinct also noted they have partnerships with the South Texas College of Law, Lone Star Legal Aid and the Eviction Defense Coalition.