The McDougal family is withdrawing its name, service, money and commitments from all boards and non-profit organizations. NewsChannel 11 has learned a single letter may be the reason why.
The letter is Mike McDougal's response to city council after the council removed him from the Lubbock Economic Development Alliance. It's the same board, city council appointed him to weeks earlier. Turns out, LEDA has rules preventing relatives of council members from serving on the board, which was unknown at the time.
In the letter, Mike McDougal wrote, "I believe each appointment should be considered by the existing council on a candidates own merits." He also asked the council to remove the law, which they did not.
The McDougal's say they've been attacked for years, and this event is the final draw. So in response, the entire family is stepping out of the public's eye.
The McDougals are responsible for the largest redevelopment project in the nation: Overton Park. Delbert McDougal is revitalizing the same area where he bought his first apartment in 1969, but he's now walking away from the city he's worked so hard for.
McDougal Family Steps Down From All Community Involvement
The McDougal family is stepping down from all community boards and committees effective immediately. They are also cutting off their donations of a half a million dollars a year to local non profits and charities. The reason: a conflict of interest.
Delbert McDougal said, "It's disappointing to me, but it obviously the right decision that we move on."
McDougal and his two sons, Mayor Mark McDougal and Mike McDougal will step down from all boards and stop all donations to local non-profits.
Mike said, "Every non profit group that's raising money generally makes a visit to our office at some time or another so year in year out this organization gives between $400,000 and $500,000 a year to various organizations in this community."
For more than a decade, combined, they've served on over a dozen boards, but now, Delbert says they're frustrated with the criticism that comes with such high profile positions. He said council's removing Mike from the LEDA board finalized the decision.
Delbert said, "We've spent a lot of our time, a lot of our life and our money supporting this community and I just felt like this was a slap in the face and I, quite frankly, don't appreciate it."
Mike said, "There have been a string of things over the last several years that we have just looked the other way and gone on with what we were doing knowing it was in the best interest of the city. This LEDA Board Development was the last of those things."
Delbert got involved to help the city grow, but the constant criticism is no longer worth it.
Delbert said, "I just felt like we were so high profile that we're the target of a whole lot of criticism and I can handle that, but I don't think my family deserves that."
City council members said they respect the family's decision and wish them well.
In response to Mike McDougal's letter, Councilman Gary Boren says they cannot change the law which states a councilman's family member can't serve on the board.
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