Donations to Decker Memorial Fund may face court challenge - New York News

Donations to Decker Memorial Fund may face court challenge

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COLD SPRING, Minn. (KMSP) -

Over the past couple months since Cold Spring Officer Tom Decker was killed in the line of duty, thousands of dollars have been donated to his family -- but they could soon become the center of a court challenge.

Decker's widow, Alicia, has filed a petition to establish a trust and name her the executive in order to consolidate the funds and distribute the money to the family as the donors intended. In the filing, Alicia Decker says that family should include her and Decker's four children from a previous marriage.

Plenty of fundraisers have been held to benefit Decker's widow and children, totaling tens of thousands of dollars.

"I can say thank you a million times, but that will never express how truly grateful I am," Alicia Decker told FOX 9 News.

With so many different donors pitching in, Alicia Decker says it's time to have someone at the helm.

"I am extremely concerned about the immediate security of all the funds being held," Alicia Decker's petition read. "There are so many funds coming from so many sources with no one in charge of it all."

The filing continued on to say:

"Due to the shocking nature of Tommy's death, I was not in a position at that time to open or organize the memorial funds that were coming in. I understand that decedent's siblings opened accounts with the provision that they would be transferred to me once I was able to regain as much normalcy as possible. Now, I am willing and able to take on the responsibility to handle and administer the funds."

The day after Decker was shot and killed, his brother and sister-in-law set up the Tom Decker Memorial Fund.

"Our intent when we set up this memorial fund was to make sure that Tommy's wife, Alicia, and his children were taken care of in the months and years to come," Judy Decker told FOX 9 News. "The issue becomes complicated because Tommy has a former wife who is the mother of his children, and he was married to Alicia, who is his widow."

Judy Decker said all the money raised remains intact because none has been withdrawn, and she said the family is grateful to anyone who donated.

"On behalf of his parents and siblings, we understand these dollars were not intended for us but for his wife and children," she said.

A court date has been set for later this month for a judge to hear the petition, but Judy Decker told FOX 9 News she hopes the family can work out a solution outside of the court first.

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