Mom arrested for leaving kids for job interview spent donations, still unemployed

A civil rights activist who tried to help Shanesha Taylor said she did not go to job interviews he set up for her or return calls.

By Frances Burns
Shanesha Taylor UPI/Scottsdale Police Department
Shanesha Taylor UPI/Scottsdale Police Department

PHOENIX, Nov. 21 (UPI) -- Shanesha Taylor, the Arizona mom who said she left her children in a hot car while she went for a job interview, spent donated money on rent, cable TV and entertainment.

Records filed with the Maricopa County courts listed her expenses at more than $4,000 a month. She received $114,000 in donations through a crowd-funding campaign after she was arrested in March and a mugshot showing her weeping went viral.


Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery agreed in July to drop child endangerment charges if Taylor, who lives in the Phoenix area, put $60,0000 in trust for her two children -- and later cut the amount to $40,000. So far, no money has been set aside and Montgomery wants the charges reinstated.

Taylor told reporters about two weeks ago she still had $72,000.

"I'm still the person that they thought I was," Taylor said after a court hearing in early November. "I'm still trying to do the best for my children."

She said she had not funded the trust partly because the county attorney's office said the money would have to be used for post-secondary education. She said that was not necessarily in her children's best interests.


The Rev. Jarrett Maupin, a civil rights activist who helped Taylor negotiate her plea deal, said his hopes for her "have turned into nightmares." He said Taylor showed no "follow through" when he arranged job interviews.

"She didn't go to the interviews, didn't return calls, wasn't interested in the kind of jobs we were able to bring to the table for her," he said. "This was someone who had no job at all."

Taylor, who said she was homeless at the time, was arrested after she left her two young children in a car for 45 minutes while she was at an interview in Scottsdale.

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