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Title: Senior Assistant County Attorney Location: Houston Age: 53 The Money Lady When Dori Ann Wind starts thinking, the coffers of Harris County’s aid agencies start to fill up. You can almost hear the “cha-ching” as she talks. “They call me the money lady,” Wind says. Clients come to her with problems, and she finds them resources, such as cash. For example, there’s the $90 million she helped wrangle from the state over the past four years for what is now known as the Department of Family and Protective Services. Wind and supervisor Cecilia Longoria advised then-DFPS general counsel Ed Davis to apply for some of the Crime Victim’s Compensation Fund. “There’s over $250 million sitting in a bank account in Austin, and I said to my client, “Why don’t you go get some of this?’ ” Wind says. After 24 years with the county attorney’s office, in several capacities, Wind is now in the perfect position to make use of her skills and wide range of contacts. Wind doesn’t have the caseload other lawyers have, Longoria says. Instead, Wind works with the division to solve the problems of the office’s clients outside of the courtroom. “I give her the practical problems that I see working on hundreds of cases with [child protective services] workers. She helps me put those daily frustrations into solutions,” Longoria says. Wind’s solutions often appear in the form of cash: ” $7 million to $10 million annually from the Texas tobacco litigation settlement for the Harris County Hospital District. ” $150 million to $200 million in federal Medicaid reimbursements for undocumented immigrants since the late 1980s. ” Untold sums from liens she suggested that the hospital district collect from emergency patients. Wind also hit up the Crime Victim’s Compensation Fund on behalf of Harris County, which used to pay in $12 million annually while getting back $7 million, Longoria says. Convicted criminals statewide pay into the fund, and Harris County’s criminals were footing the bill for other counties’ victims. “Harris County always left money on the table, always, until Dori changed that. Now Harris County gets back as much money as it puts in for victims,” Longoria says. This year, that is estimated to be $15 million. Wind says people talk to her about their needs, and she starts thinking. Now she’s wondering how to bring down the child death rate in Houston. She discovered parenting books that the Hendrickson Foundation gives to the hospital district for parents of babies born at county hospitals. She asked for some of the books for DFPS. “Then I began to think about all the other people who could use these books,” she says. In less than a year, she has given away some 5,000 books, and she now takes delivery of the books by the pallet.

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