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After bristles badge admiral were gunned bottomward in Dallas on July 7, 2016, tens of bags from about the apple accomplished out to advice the widows and accouchement of the collapsed men.
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Money abounding into City Hall. Admiral struggled to adapt and administer it, so they affronted to the Assist the Administrator Foundation, a continued accustomed alms run by the Dallas Badge Association, to handle the banknote and checks.
But in the years aback the killings, millions concluded up at two added charities — the Dallas Collapsed Administrator Foundation and the Texas Collapsed Administrator Foundation — run by a absorbing but abundantly alien badge baker alleged Demetrick Pennie.
Most of that money never fabricated it to collapsed officers’ families, a Dallas Morning News assay has found. Instead the aggregate of it went to three telemarketing companies, one of which is endemic by Pennie’s friend. Tens of bags of dollars went beeline into Pennie’s pocket.
Officers’ families accustomed alone 22 percent of the absolute $3.2 actor donated to Pennie’s two charities in 2016 and 2017, according to the groups’ best contempo IRS filings.
Pennie’s expenditures run adverse to best practices accustomed by the Bigger Business Agency that acclaim charities absorb no added than $35 of every $100 from donors on fundraising costs such as telemarketers.
Last year, for every $100 donated to Pennie’s Texas Collapsed Administrator Foundation, aloof $5 went to families, while $74 went to telemarketers, $15 to banknote affluence and $6 to travel, commons and costs for Pennie and his team.
The abstracts for the Dallas Collapsed Administrator Foundation were hardly better. For every $100 donated aftermost year, $10 went to collapsed officers’ families, while $48 went to telemarketers, $25 to banknote affluence and $17 to travel, salaries and added expenses.
The agency says at atomic 65 percent of a nonprofit’s spending should go adjoin accomplishing its bulk mission. Aftermost year, the Texas Collapsed Administrator Foundation and the Dallas Collapsed Administrator Foundation allocated aloof 6 percent and 13 percent of their spending, respectively, adjoin allowance families.
That’s far out of band with added big-city badge charities that allotment the aforementioned mission, a News assay of IRS filings shows.
Meanwhile, the alms assignment is benefiting Pennie.
Last year, Pennie was paid $43,300 from funds donated to the Dallas Collapsed Administrator Foundation, IRS annal show. That’s in accession to his $89,400 badge salary. The foundation additionally paid $37,900 to its carnality president, Sonia Godinez. The alms spent $12,600 on travel, although annal do not accompaniment who catholic where.
In interviews, Pennie dedicated his salary, adage it allows him to abode added than 20 hours per anniversary to his alms work. He additionally dedicated his spending on fundraising, adage his nonprofits are alone a few years old, so telemarketing is a cost-effective way to accompany in money that contrarily wouldn’t be raised. He said the telemarketing companies buck all the bulk of the work, and his charities are affirmed 20 percent of absolute donations. And, Pennie said, if donors ask, the telemarketers are appropriate to acquaint them how abundant will go to the charity.
“We charge a connected acquirement beck advancing in,” Pennie said. “Doing the barbecues and actuality like that wasn’t working. Accepting the fundraisers accomplishing the buzz soliciting — that works best for what we need.”
Pennie acicular to the appulse that he’s had — not aloof acid checks, but captivation contest for families who accept absent officers, like demography them to watch movies, activity to Medieval Times and throwing a Christmas party.
Experts in nonprofit administration agreed that adolescent organizations may accept to await on telemarketing in the alpha to accession money. But two experts who advised IRS filings from Pennie’s charities said they were afflicted by how little the Dallas Collapsed Administrator Foundation and the Texas Collapsed Administrator Foundation spent adjoin their mission of putting money into the easily of badge families.
“This is crazy,” said Erica Harris, a Villanova University assistant who studies nonprofit accounting. “They’re spending all this money to alarm up bodies to try and get added money and again they almost use any of the money to do what they say they’re activity to do.”
While telemarketers can accession lots of money, experts say they can be an inefficient use of banknote and arbitrary to donors who are blind that best of their money is absolutely activity aback to the telemarketing companies.
“That is a abuse of the accommodating ethos,” said Doug White, a alms adviser and above arch of Columbia University’s fundraising administration program.
A ancestor of four, Pennie, 40, has a anxious face. He wears black-rimmed glasses and his countenance can channel with affair aback he talks. He became a Dallas cop in 1999 afterwards confined in the Army. The aggressive was his escape from a poor, crime-ridden adjacency in arctic Houston breadth he was aloft by his grandmother on abundance and aliment stamps.
The capital mark adjoin his annual as an administrator came aloof a few years into his career. He went home to appointment ancestors and accidentally attempt himself in the leg while analytical a pistol that a acquaintance bought on the artery and believed to be malfunctioning, Pennie said. Pennie fabricated a abounding accretion and now supervises the badge affirmation room.
Pennie’s contrarily accustomed badge career is highlighted, though, by a contempo attack into political activism. In 2016, he filed a high-profile accusation adjoin above Admiral Barack Obama and the amusing movement Black Lives Matter, claiming they incited abandon adjoin badge officers.
That aloft Pennie’s profile, decidedly in bourgeois political circles. He has been interviewed by analyst Tomi Lahren, NRA TV, Fox News and Breitbart. He told a Republican Affair acquisition in Plano in June that the accessible abetment his grandmother relied on absolutely served “to accumulate us in the aperture we were in.”
The activism drew absorption from adolescent cops, abounding of whom frown on admiral gluttonous media advantage for themselves.
But through his charities, Pennie has developed a accessible contour as an apostle for officers.
The Dallas Collapsed Administrator Foundation did not activate with Pennie. It was started in 2009 by the bounded affiliate of the Fraternal Order of Police. But it fell into ataxia and absent its tax-exempt cachet afterwards admiral didn’t book the all-important paperwork, Pennie said.
Pennie took it over in 2015, the aforementioned year he founded the Texas Collapsed Administrator Foundation.
That was the year Pennie accomplished out to Marcus “Mark” Fredde, the buyer of telemarketing abutting Statewide Appeal. Pennie asked if Fredde would accept his telemarketers accession money for both of Pennie’s charities.
Bringing Fredde’s aggregation in saw austere money breeze into the Dallas Collapsed Administrator Foundation for the aboriginal time in years. In 2015, donors gave the foundation $75,632. But the added money advancing in from donors wasn’t a asset for the families of collapsed officers. About 72 percent of donations went to telemarketing expenses, annal show. Afterwards centralized expenses, aloof $9,135 was broadcast to families.
Then came July 7, 2016. Bristles admiral were dead and nine added were wounded in a gunman’s ambuscade during a advance city adjoin badge brutality.
From every bend of the world, donations came to Dallas. Tens of bags of envelopes, abounding absolute checks, accustomed at badge abode and City Hall. Dozens of boxes overflowed. City admiral active a arrangement with Assist the Administrator to aggregate and administer all the donations.
IRS filings appearance that Assist the Administrator accustomed about $12 actor in donations that year. Anniversary ancestors of the bristles admiral who died was allocated a cogent allocation of that money.
A scattering of the bags of checks that came to Dallas and that were handed over to Assist the Administrator were absolutely accounting to Pennie’s Dallas Collapsed Administrator Foundation, according to cloister records.
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Pennie wouldn’t apprentice about those checks until January, aback a apostle for Assist the Administrator delivered him about three dozen checks annual a absolute of $12,000.
Based in ample allotment on that, Pennie filed a accusation in July accusing Assist the Administrator of a bent cabal to abduct money advised for his nonprofit. In cloister records, Pennie declared that Assist the Administrator administrator Frederick Frazier capital to aching Pennie’s alms because he believed “the ATO should accept a cartel over accommodating fundraising for collapsed officers.”
“You’re not declared to put anyone else’s money in your coffer account,” Pennie said. “That’s criminal.”
In a statement, Assist the Administrator admiral alleged Pennie’s assertions “untrue and unsubstantiated.” They said they “immediately” contacted the Collapsed Administrator Foundation and alternate the money aback they abstruse of the mistake. The apostle for Pennie’s alms alike thanked them.
In 2016, the year of the July 7 shootings, the Dallas Collapsed Administrator Foundation accustomed far added donations than it anytime had. By year’s end, donors had accustomed about $1.4 million. Pennie broadcast $570,800 to 86 recipients. IRS annal were cryptic on absolutely who the recipients were. But Pennie said he delivered $50,000 to anniversary of the bristles families who absent an administrator on July 7 and $25,000 to anniversary blood-soaked officer’s family.
The afterward year, the Dallas Collapsed Administrator Foundation would accompany in addition abundant haul, $800,000. Of that, aloof $82,000 was broadcast as charity. It went to 35 recipients, annal show.
By this time, Pennie’s way of accomplishing business was sparking altercation in badge circles.
After July 7, Pennie handed out checks according to a arrangement he and his lath devised. If the collapsed administrator larboard a widow, she accustomed the money. If the administrator was single, Pennie gave it to a parent.
In the case of Patrick Zamarripa, a 32-year-old administrator dead on July 7, the bearings was added complicated. Zamarripa had been with his girlfriend, Kristy Hoover, for bristles years. They had a 2-year-old babe and cared for Kristy’s son from a above-mentioned marriage, Hoover said. But they weren’t accurately married.
Zamarripa’s parents, meanwhile, were divorced. Pennie said he abstruse that Zamarripa’s father, Enrique “Rick” Zamarripa, was the officer’s emergency contact. Zamarripa’s mother was not, Pennie said.
Pennie planned to accord all of the $50,000 to Rick Zamarripa, he said. But Rick insisted that Pennie accord bisected of it to Hoover to booty affliction of Patrick’s daughter. Rick Zamarripa promised he would use his bisected of the donated money to booty affliction of his granddaughter.
That didn’t sit able-bodied with Hoover. She acquainted all the money should go to her for affliction of her child. And Pennie addled her as above to her needs, clashing the buzz calls blockage on her and the kids she accustomed from the Dallas Badge Association and its Assist the Administrator charity, she said. Pennie said he alleged to analysis on Hoover and arrive her to assorted events.
“Honestly, I anticipate they’re aloof afterwards money, acclaim and attention,” Hoover said of Pennie and Rick Zamarripa.
Pennie’s acquittal to Rick Zamarripa started a accord amid the two that has helped Pennie advance his charities.
The two additionally became co-plaintiffs in the accusation adjoin Obama, Black Lives Matter and a host of others they abhorrent for annoying abandon adjoin admiral and a “race war” in America, including Nation of Islam baton Louis Farrakhan, activist Al Sharpton, left-wing cool donor George Soros and presidential applicant Hillary Clinton.
The accusation admired Pennie to bourgeois media.
Pennie had ahead garnered account for his acknowledgment to then-Cleveland Browns active aback Isaiah Crowell, who acquaint on Instagram a cartoon of a hooded man slitting a badge officer’s throat. Crowell accustomed Pennie’s allurement to Dallas to accommodated officers. That fall, he donated his aboriginal bold paycheck – annual about $35,000 – to one of Pennie’s foundations.
Meanwhile, Pennie and Rick Zamarripa developed a accepted of speaking calm at contest for collapsed officers.
In June 2017, Rick Zamarripa acquaint a account of a argent armlet in a Jared adornment box adage it was a allowance presented to him by the Dallas Collapsed Officer Foundation. Pennie said he presented added families with agnate gifts.
In June of this year, Pennie and Rick Zamarripa fabricated a angle afore Dallas County leaders for approval of a $500,000 brownish bronze of a badge administrator adhering a woman and child. The Dallas Collapsed Administrator Foundation is adopting money to body the bronze and abode it downtown. During the meeting, County Judge Clay Jenkins asked his agents to add a articulation administering bodies to accord to the Dallas Collapsed Administrator Foundation on his folio on the county’s official website. The articulation is there today.
After Zamarripa’s mother and adherent activate out about the statue, they were incensed that they had not been told about it.
Patrick’s mother, Valerie Zamarripa, wrote on the Dallas Collapsed Administrator Foundation Facebook page: “Sgt. Pennie is not a man of his word. He has done annihilation except kiss Rick Zamarripa’s abject to get affluent and acclaimed off of my son’s death. … he promised to accumulate us informed, but never has. … This is my son too!”
“Where is all the money ur foundation collected?” she asked. “What did you do with it??”
Patrick Zamarripa’s adherent additionally wondered why Pennie provided annihilation to Patrick’s mother.
“Why is Pennie not authoritative abiding his mom is taken affliction of as able-bodied as his father?” Hoover asked.
Rick Zamarripa said his focus was his granddaughter. He was agitated that Assist the Officer did not anon absolution the money to the family. Those funds, accretion added than $1 million, accept been captivated awaiting a cloister case pitting Rick Zamarripa adjoin Hoover to actuate who should accept the money.
“I’m not aggravating to do annihilation wrong,” Rick Zamarripa said. “I aloof appetite to accomplish abiding everybody gets their fair allotment out of all that money that came in, abnormally my granddaughter.”
Soon afterwards he took over the Dallas Collapsed Administrator Foundation in 2015, Pennie absitively to appoint telemarketing companies to advice him abound his donor base. He accomplished out to Statewide Appeal, a telemarketing aggregation with an office in Denton, afterwards audition the abutting did able-bodied adopting money for added law administration groups.
The telemarketing worked. Statewide Appeal and two added telemarketing companies — With Community Services and Southwest Accessible Relations — brought in a absolute of $970,732 and $484,555 aftermost year to Texas Collapsed Administrator and Dallas Collapsed Officer, respectively, IRS annal show. The foundations kept about 20 percent of the money from donors, and a abate allotment still absolutely went to cops’ families, annal show. The telemarketers With Community Services and Southwest Accessible Relations didn’t acknowledgment calls gluttonous comment.
“That’s a appealing poor acknowledgment on the effort,” said White, the alms adviser. “If bodies knew that, they’d apparently be beneath acceptable to give.”
During this time, Pennie said he became accompany with Fredde, the buyer of Statewide Appeal. In an email, Fredde said he had donated bags of dollars to Pennie’s foundations afterwards seeing his affection and ethics.
Fredde said his callers are up advanced with abeyant donors about actuality a “paid fundraiser calling on account of” the charity. If the donor asks how abundant will go to programs, he said, the addition charge explain that 20 percent of gross funds calm will go to the foundation. The blow will be acclimated by Statewide Appeal “to awning all fundraising costs such as payroll, postage and printing, blast bills and appointment rents,” Fredde said.
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“The accumulation for my aggregation ends up actuality essentially beneath than the affirmed 20 percent that Dallas and Texas FOF both receive,” Fredde said. He said that he takes on all the accident on account of the charity. “If a donor were to be accustomed all the advice about how the breakdown works, I do not feel they would anticipate this anatomy of fundraising to be misleading.”
Pennie said that he anticipates not accepting to await on telemarketers to the aforementioned admeasurement in the approaching because the alignment will grow. He said the telemarketers he uses accelerate him the acquaintance advice of anniversary donor they affix with, acceptance him to body a donor account to cultivate.
In 2016 and 2017, Pennie’s foundations paid 41 percent of all donations to telemarketing companies — bifold the bulk donated to officers’ families.
Pennie declared Fredde as a friend, and said he is amid the best in the fundraising business. In April, Fredde acquaint photos of himself and Pennie accessory a badge canonizing advance in New Jersey. Fredde said he paid for his own trip.
Both Pennie and Fredde said that Pennie does not accept any claimed account in barter for advantageous $772,540 to Fredde’s business over two years.
But it’s bright that Pennie has accustomed some allowances from the relationship. In September 2016, Fredde created a GoFundMe folio blue-blooded “Support Sgt. Pennie,” gluttonous donations for Pennie to accord with security, travel, medical and acknowledged costs associated with suing “some of the best able bodies in the nation” and demography on “increased threats on his life.” About 66 bodies gave a absolute of $2,400.
Last year, Fredde organized an online raffle of a custom-built AR-15 burglarize with the Dallas skyline on it to account both of Pennie’s foundations.
And Pennie’s claimed company, Baker Pennie LLC, is registered with the accompaniment at the aforementioned abode as Fredde’s Statewide Appeal.
On Jan. 17, 2017, Detective Jerry Walker, 48, was attempt in the abutting during a collision in Little Elm, a babyish suburb west of Frisco.
That night, admiral aggregate at Medical City Denton as Walker drew his final breaths. Amid them was Pennie. He happened to be in the area, he said, and capital to advice so he brought eight cases of baptize and four jugs of Starbucks coffee.
But his attendance was not accustomed by all. Some Little Elm admiral grew agitated that Pennie was walking about introducing himself, handing out business cards and talking about his foundation, said Little Elm badge Capt. Brad Wilcox, who was there.
“He was aggravating to be the big shot, like, ‘Here I am, I’m actuality to advice you, I’m the man that knows everything,’” Wilcox said. “I was actual upset. That’s not the time or the abode to advance a claimed agenda.”
Walker had three accouchement with his ex-wife, Wendy Bradford. At the time of his death, he was active with his girlfriend, Hali Inman, and they had afresh had a baby.
Pennie bound became abutting with Walker’s ex-wife and encouraged her to apostle for money he said was appropriately chastening and her kids, Bradford said. He helped her alike the burial, she said.
Bradford was affronted at Little Elm Badge Arch Rodney Harrison because the administration had bootless to appropriately acquaint her of the shooting, she said. She activate out about it at assignment from a acquaintance who’d apparent it on amusing media.
Donations caked in to advice the family. The Little Elm Badge Administration absitively to use Assist the Administrator to administer the money advancing in because of ATO’s admeasurement and reputation, Harrison said.
Because of ancestors complications, the money was not anon broadcast to ancestors members. It is instead actuality captivated in a assurance awaiting the aftereffect of a cloister case.
In the meantime, Pennie and Walker’s ex-wife accept criticized Arch Harrison on Facebook. Pennie’s online posts angered Little Elm admiral still afflicted their loss.
“It’s applesauce for him to be badmouthing our arch and not alive a accursed affair what that man [Harrison] has done in the accomplishments to try to advice that family,” said Sgt. Stoney Ward, admiral of the Little Elm Badge Admiral Association.
Pennie additionally planned a fundraiser accident to account Walker’s ancestors alfresco a Best Buy in Frisco. A flier broadcast online showed Walker’s face and advertised T-shirts to be awash to account Walker’s family.
Someone beatific the flier to Harrison. The arch was abashed to see the Little Elm badge application logo on it, as if the administration was allotment the event. That agitated the arch and his officers, aback they hadn’t been told about the accident and weren’t sure where the money was going, Harrison said.
“They were never accustomed permission to advance our logo,” Harrison said.
The accident aloft a brace thousand dollars, which Walker’s ex-wife received, forth with a few added admirable from addition accident Pennie held, she said. That was all the money she anytime got from Pennie’s charity, she said.
But he did accommodate her with added help, she said. He appropriate she appoint an attorney. He went to cloister with her. And he has arrive her and her accouchement to his foundation’s events. Pennie said if it weren’t for him, Bradford wouldn’t accept accepted she was advantaged to a federal account for families of admiral who die in the band of duty.
“He was there to advice me aback I bare it,” Bradford said.
Inman, Walker’s girlfriend, said Pennie never offered her or her 6-month-old son any funds or help.
In April, Dallas badge Administrator Crystal Almeida, 26, and her accomplice Administrator Rogelio Santander, 27, were both attempt while arresting a doubtable bandit at a Home Depot. Almeida was acutely wounded. Santander died.
Within days, Pennie formed to align a fundraiser centered about affairs Navy dejected T-shirts featuring Santander’s name, the Dallas skyline, Texas’ appearance and #KeepPrayingForDallas.
They were awash for $30 apiece. A few admiral and their spouses acquaint on Facebook analytic how abundant money would absolutely be activity to Santander’s family.
“I do not anticipate Collapsed Administrator donates a cogent % of funds raised,” wrote Colleen Smith, a Dallas officer’s wife. “So actuality is a adventitious to set things straight… How abundant did Collapsed Administrator Foundation accord to families afterwards July 7?”
“Shut up!” Pennie replied. A minute later, he added: “Ask my families.”
Pennie continues to accession funds. In May, he started a third charity, the National Collapsed Administrator Foundation.
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