AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - The state of Texas has agreed to pay
$300,000 to a woman who alleged that it shut down her outdoor
foster camp unfairly just to make a politician look good.
Betty Lou Gaines is former director of the Woodside Trails
Therapeutic Camp in Bastrop County. She accused former state
Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn of pressuring state officials
to close the camp after making unproven charges of child abuse and
Gaines claimed Strayhorn made the allegations against the
troubled boys in a 2004 state report about foster care to boost her
chances in the 2006 Texas governor's race. Gaines then sued
Strayhorn and nine other state officials.
Strayhorn lost the 2006 governor's race and was eventually
dropped from the suit. The Austin American-Statesman reports that
Gaines settled with the state yesterday before closing arguments
began in the federal trial.
Patrick Crimmins, a spokesman for Family and Protective
Services, said the settlement makes sense financially and legally.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)