Since 2005, Ride for Dime has been a charitable organization honoring the lives of Pantera’s “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott, and the others killed at the Alrosa Villa in 2004. However, the Dallas Observer reports that the organization is mired in controversy, as it’s longtime President Rob Eichelberger stepped down Monday following some serious misconduct allegations. Rita Haney, Abbott’s longtime girlfriend and common law wife has taken over as chairman of the board, stating “when it comes to Darrell, I can’t help be be a mamma bear. One person doesn’t need control, and it takes several people to do it right.”
Last week, Shawn Marchant, a former best friend of Eichelberger, made some allegations, some unfounded, against him. One such claim is that he’d traded memorabilia devoted to the charity for drugs. Other sources once connected to the charity have come forward to claim that Eichelberger financed his lifestyle with money from the charity. Two business owners say they lent him $14,000 and $25,000 respectively, and have yet to get the money. Eichelberger admits that he took some of Ride For Dime’s charity money to reimburse himself after spending money to fund other events, claiming he could take 50% by law. He denied trading any memorabilia for drugs, however, as well as the other allegations about him. However, Little Kids Rock, one of the charities Ride For Dime donated to, only received $2,000 from the charity in 2009, while the former President claimed he’d given them $10,000. And Little Kids Rock says that while the organization held fundraisers for their event for the past five years, they stopped working with them because they never got paid. And the former Philadelphia chapter president, said his name was used on 2009 and 2010 tax forms without permission.
Either way, Rob did the right thing by stepping down. Even if he’s as innocent as he claims, the allegations against him could besmirch Ride For Dime’s name. If he has been mishandling money from the charity, that’s a pretty low thing to do, and he should be prosecuted. Having Rita in charge, however, the organization at least has someone with Dime’s best interests in mind.