Creditors sue Austin lawmaker to recover debt from business
Creditors are suing state Rep. Dawnna Dukes to settle unpaid balances on two credit cards, Dukes said Friday.
Dukes, an Austin Democrat, said the cards are related to her business, but she was sued personally because she is the sole owner.
“My attorneys have been trying to negotiate settlements with them since last year,” she said. “It’s been a difficult process for them, and although we have gone through the process of requesting information to try to get settlements, they filed the lawsuits anyways.”
Dukes said the creditors are asking for about $18,000 on one account and about $13,000 on another. Most of that is penalties and interest, she said, noting that the cards had $5,000 limits.
Dukes’ consulting company helps construction and engineering firms put together bid proposals. She said she does not have any clients in Austin.
She said the troubles trace back to the middle of the past decade, when she did not have any clients. The business struggled because the Legislature takes up a lot of time and because she is careful not to take clients that might create the appearance of a conflict of interest, Dukes said.
“We just get accused of so many things,” Dukes said.
She was quick to point out that the salary for serving in the Legislature is $600 per month.
“Folks think that we make big money at the Capitol,” she said. “I’m just like every other person who’s having a hard time in the economy. I’m trying to deal with it, but mine becomes public.”
This is not the first time credit cards have caused Dukes headaches.
The Texas Ethics Commission fined her campaign $2,800 in 2008 for failing to disclose itemized lists of purchases she made with her campaign credit card.