Dispute Over Parker Jensen Fund Close to Resolution

Dispute Over Parker Jensen Fund Close to Resolution

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- The dispute over a support fund for Parker Jensen is close to a resolution, a state official said.

"We're waiting to receive that one more piece of additional information . . . and then we will dismiss the citation and we will declare the matter concluded," said Francine Giani, the director of the Utah Division of Consumer Protection.

She met Monday with Tracy Jensen, Parker's uncle who started the fund, and his lawyer, LaVar Christensen.

The state agency last week initiated a subpoena of bank records for the fund because the boy's family, cited earlier this month for failing to file the paperwork to make the fund legal, continued to disregard the state's requests.

That came after Giani said letters sent by registered mail went unanswered and repeated promises to supply information to the division were not kept.

The Jensens were cited because they hadn't finished the legal process allowing them to solicit and collect funds to help pay for 13-year-old's medical care.

Parker was diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer last spring. His parents' disagreement with doctors over treatment forced the family into a months-long public custody battle with Utah authorities. Last month the state withdrew its petition for custody of the boy, which would also have placed him in court-ordered chemotherapy treatments.

Giani said Monday the division's intent was make sure donations to the fund were used as promised in contribution letters and on the family's Web site.

The letters said funds would be used for medical and other expenses, while the Web site said the money would go toward Daren and Barbara Jensen's legal bills.

It was that discrepancy, as well as the failure to conclude the process that would make the charitable fund legal, that concerned the Division of Consumer Protection.

Christensen, who also is a state representative from Draper, assured Giani she would have a full accounting of the distribution of the money by Wednesday, the citation-issued deadline for Tracy Jensen to provide information before fines could be issued.

The support fund, which brought in about $6,400 is now closed. The Jensens are no longer seeking donations.

Giani said she believes all but about $200 of the total amount raised has been spent and said she instructed Tracy Jensen on Monday to give the remainder to his brother.

Giani doesn't expect to see any surprises when she receives the final paperwork.

"The request that came in was for medical expenses and other expenses relating to Parker Jensen," Giani said. "We'll be a little bit liberal with our interpretation of that."

That means the accounting can include expenses such as gas and hotel bills from the time the Jensens sought refuge in Idaho to avoid Utah's chemotherapy order, Giani said.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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