DALLAS — The recently resigned chairwoman of the Dallas Area Rapid Transit and her husband were found dead in their south Dallas home Monday night in what authorities described as an apparent murder-suicide.
Lynn Flint Shaw was named head of the agency by her colleagues in October. She resigned about six weeks ago amid allegations about a purportedly forged document she presented to avoid repaying a personal debt. She had been a DART board member since 2003. Her husband, Rufus Shaw Jr., was a local political analyst and a main contributor to dallasblog.com.
According to the Dallas Police Department, Shaw shot his wife and then shot himself.
“The DART family is saddened by the tragic death of former chair Lynn Flint Shaw,” chairman Randall Chrisman said. “We extend our deepest sympathies to her family and friends. She was a friend to many on the staff and board and she will be missed.”
Executive director Gary Thomas said Flint Shaw “was a huge part in making DART part of the community” and “making sure the board of directors did the right thing” for its customers and stakeholders.
“Lynn was a tireless, tireless advocate for DART,” Thomas said. “She had more energy and was always so upbeat … so positive, and constantly trying to help in any way she could. She was a true leader, was tireless in promoting DART, and she’s going to be missed.”
In late January, in a resignation letter to Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert, the City Council, and the DART board, Flint Shaw said her “resignation is necessary to help ensure that the agency and its constituents stay focused on its current opportunities and challenges.”
She also resigned from her post as treasurer of Leppert’s fundraising organization.
Flint Shaw was accused of sending a letter printed with the Dallas County district attorney’s letterhead and signature to someone to whom she owed $7,500, stating that the DA’s office was investigating the theft of a supposed payment sent to the person. In mid-February she turned herself in, was charged with tampering with a governmental record, and was released later that day.
DART has been battling political and public pressure since announcing that expansion of its light-rail service to Dallas suburbs will cost twice as much as initially projected.
Late last year, officials said extensions of the Orange Line through Irving to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport and the Blue Line from downtown Garland to Rowlett would cost close to $1.9 billion. Previous projections pegged costs at $988 million, but spikes in the price of concrete, copper, and steel resulted in the increase.
Board members are considering various solutions to close the funding gap including some sort of public-private partnership agreement, as well as increased debt issuance.