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Developments In CBS 11 I-Team Charity Bingo Investigation

(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Mireya Villarreal
A native Texan, Mireya was born and raised in the Rio Grande Valley....
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NORTH TEXAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – On Monday, the CBS 11 I-Team confirmed the Director of Charity Bingo, Sandra Joseph, resigned from her post. Her resignation was submitted two days after the I-Team’s initial investigation into charity bingo in Texas.

Months ago, several non-profit groups reached out to the I-Team for help, saying the state wasn’t doing enough to protect them. They claim they were on the brink of bankruptcy, being sucked dry by fees from the state and expenses from bingo hall management companies.

When CBS 11 I-Team Reporter Mireya Villarreal tried to get answers from the state, they refused to talk about the issues on camera.

Up until last week, Sandra Joseph was the Charity Bingo Director for the State of Texas. She was appointed to the position in January 2013 after spending five years in their legal department.

“We want to make sure we don’t leave without talking to you,” Investigative Reporter Mireya Villarreal told Joseph during a Texas Lottery Commission meeting.

After nearly a week of exchanging emails and phone calls a representative for the Texas Lottery Commission, and getting very few answers, the I-Team drove down to Austin specifically to talk with Joseph about Charity Bingo. She said she’d talk with our crew after her meeting was over; however, once things wrapped up, joseph slipped out a back door.

“I just believe this is a trap. It’s a death trap for non-profits,” Laveda Brown, Director of the Cen-Tex African American Chamber of Commerce, said.

Brown’s non-profit out of Waco was left $26,000 in the hole after playing charity bingo for two years. She says by the time bingo suppliers, management companies, and the state got paid; charities like hers were left with nothing. The I-Team reached out to the management company Brown’s organization worked with, but they refused to comment for this story.

The Texas Lottery Commission refused to comment about Sandra Joseph’s resignation. But they will be holding an emergency meeting next week to find her replacement.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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