How bad do things have toÂ be before you’re banned fromÂ working for non-profits? I dunno, but that’s what’s happened in the case of former Congressional candidate Gene Christensen.Â ChristensenÂ agreed to the 10-year banÂ from working for a charity in TexasÂ as part of a deal with theÂ TexasÂ AG’s office. In June, the AGÂ suedÂ Christensen,Â alleging that he wasted andÂ misappropriated moneyÂ from his charity, People Against Drugs, on his NASCAR racing team. On Friday, a judge signed an agreement that requiresÂ the former Celine resident toÂ pay the AG’s office $100,000 and bansÂ Christensen from serving on behalf of any Texas non-profit (including People Against Drugs)Â for the next 10 years. The AG’s office claims the $100,000 will cover the cost of its investigation.
It’s been aÂ quick downward descent forÂ Christensen, whoÂ has gone from owning a NASCAR truck-racing team and heading up a non-profitÂ organization with $5.1 million in annual revenue to poverty within about a year and a half.Â In the Friday filing, Christensen is pleading insolvency, citing $50,000 in assets and about $316,000 in liabilities (including $25,000 in unpaid income taxes, $84,000 in alimonyÂ and more than $100,000 in unpaid credit card bills). Ironically, Christensen told me that when he ranÂ for Congress against Ralph Hall in Collin County, he was hoping to bring a new perspective to Washington. From a financial standpoint, he might have fit right in. In the agreement between Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott and Christensen, neither side admits to any wrongdoing. I’m not sure how the state will collect its $100,000 from Christensen – I’d recommend cash on the barrel head. The People Against Drugs charity, meanwhile, is in Chapter 11 and creditors are still trying to figure out how they’ll be paid.