Santa Cruz County

Money Being Withheld From Fallen Police Officers' Families

Santa Cruz Police Officers' Association Doesn't Know Who To Give Money To

Money Withheld From Fallen Police Officers' Families

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. - The daughter of fallen Santa Cruz police officer Loran "Butch" Baker is threatening legal action against the Santa Cruz Police Officers' Association because the family hasn't received any of the money from the memorial fund.

"It's disheartening that we're going down this route because of a person who is selfish and is greedy," said POA President Joe Hernandez.

Hernandez is talking about Ashley Baker, the daughter of Butch Baker.

Feb. 26 will be the anniversary of the day Baker and Elizabeth Butler were shot and killed by sexual assault suspect Jeremy Goulet and still the families haven't received one dollar from the memorial fund the community put together.

The reason?

"We don't know who specifically we would give that money to," Hernandez said.

The POA is holding on to the $556,800 because it says Ashley Baker doesn't want to give any of the money to her estranged stepmother and Butch Baker's widow, Kelly Baker.

"They should have had this money some time ago, when we wanted to distribute the funds but because she threatened lawsuit we can't," Hernandez said.

In an article published in the Santa Cruz Sentinel on Saturday, Ashley Baker said the money was supposed to be for a scholarship fund for each family's children. Instead it was combined as a memorial fund.

The POA sent letters to the family explaining a 50-50 distribution of money, but if Ashley Baker files a lawsuit she could take away from the memorial fund, the POA said.

"If that's the case we would ask the court to use the funds from the memorial fund in order to pay for those legal costs."

The POA has given both families until Feb. 21 to agree to the association's distribution plan.

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