‘The senator would certainly encourage his brother to pay the judgment if his personal financial circumstances made that at all possible…’
(Joshua Paladino, Liberty Headlines) As Joe Biden lags in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary, a new report shows that his brother, Frank Biden, owes nearly $1 million to victims of a drunk-driving incident.
Frank refuses to pay the settlement even as he collects hundreds of thousands of dollars in a charter-school business venture that he admits began because of his last name, ABC News reported.
In 1999, Frank Biden, 43, was riding shotgun in a Jaguar convertible that he rented, while his friend, 25-year-old Jason Turton was driving, Daily Mail reported.
The two had a few drinks, went to Turton’s house, and picked up three more friends. They left Turton’s house at about 11:15 p.m.
As Turton drove the car down a 35-mph road, Biden reportedly shifted the car into manual and told Turton to “punch it.”
Turton reached 80 mph before he hit and killed Michael Albano, a single father of two daughters, whose mother lost custody of them when they were young because of a schizophrenia diagnosis, the Washington Examiner reported.
When the car hit Albano, witnesses said they heard Biden say “keep driving,” but Turton pulled the car over and fled on foot. Biden stayed with the vehicle.
Police found Turton, arrested him, and learned that his blood-alcohol level at the time of the crash was 0.18.
An ensuing criminal trial placed legal responsibility with both Turton, for speeding and drunk driving, and Albano, who did not use a crosswalk.
Biden was excluded from the criminal trial, but Albano’s parents, who took custody of their grandchildren, 17-year-old Lorraina and 16-year-old Nicole, opened civil lawsuits against both Frank Biden and Budget Rent-a-Car.
The Albanos said Budget negligently rented a car to Biden, who had a “past history of mental health problems and / or drug and alcohol abuse and past driving record.” The Albanos and Budget resolved the lawsuit without a trial, and Budget paid the family an unknown amount.
When the Albanos sued Biden, he fled from Florida to California, failing to show up for the trial.
Despite Biden’s no-show, a judge ruled in 2002 that Biden owed Lorraine and Nicole $275,000 each, plus 10 percent interest for each year that he refused to pay.
The daughters sent a letter to then-Sen. Joe Biden in 2003, and received no response, and again in 2008, at which point Biden shrugged off the horrific incident.
“The senator would certainly encourage his brother to pay the judgment if his personal financial circumstances made that at all possible,”said Luis Navarro, Biden’s chief of staff. “As you are aware, however, Frank has no assets with which to satisfy the judgment. The senator regrets that this is where matters stand and that he cannot be more helpful.”
To this day, he has not paid the women, now in their 30s, a dollar.
All indications show that Biden, who raked in hundreds of thousands of dollars through Mavericks in Education from 2009 to 2014, has the money to pay at least part of the settlement.
Biden admitted in interviews that his last name was a “tremendous asset” in securing charter school contracts because of his family’s record of “taking care of people who need help.”
He said his last name ensured “automatic acceptance” when seeking government approval to open charter schools in Florida.