County Commissioners Vote, Three to Two, Not to Bring Back Sherbet As Elections Consultant

Categories: Politics
ClayJenkins_gavel.jpg
Patrick Michels
County Judge Clay Jenkins reminds the room, "I did not ask Mr. Sherbet to resign." This morning he voted not to re-hire Elections Administrator Bruce Sherbet as a consultant.
Down at Dallas County Commissioners Court this morning, where the fire marshals were out to keep the overflow crowd at bay, County Commissioner Marine Dickey's move to keep Bruce Sherbet running county elections -- under a two-year consultant's contract -- opened the door to a half-hour airing of the grievances before it all went down in a quick vote: two "aye," three "nay" and one muttered "ridiculous" from the crowd.

County Commissioner, and former Dallas City Council member, Elba Garcia joined Jenkins and John Wiley Price in voting down Dickey's proposal. Garcia said her concern was that the arrangement wouldn't be legal.

Dickey reiterated what she told Robert yesterday, that the County Elections Commission -- which Jenkins called together for a performance review of Sherbet two weeks ago -- is an outdated and unnecessary body. It's "a Catch-22 that shouldn't exist," Dickey said this morning. "It really stands between you, the people and their elected officials."

Jenkins, meanwhile, professed to be perplexed at how the last two weeks have unfolded.

"I didn't call for Mr. Sherbet's resignation. I did not ask for Mr. Sherbet to resign," Jenkins said. "This went off the rails."

Before a skeptical crowd -- dotted with those "I Support Bruce" T-shirts with the dancing donkey and elephant -- Jenkins maintained he was only ever interested in accountability, especially given the tough times the budget's facing, and the "need to do more with less," Jenkins said. "Every year I want to see a performance review of the heads of our departments."

While speakers in the crowd waited to have their say this morning, Jenkins made it clear he wasn't backing off his defense: "I don't want to mischaracterize that there has been a conspiracy to oust Mr. Sherbet, because nothing could be further from the truth."
My Voice Nation Help
50 comments
Sort: Newest | Oldest
Kevin from Irving
Kevin from Irving

I'm completely astounded by the delusions from which Cary D seems to be suffering. If ANYONE thinks that Sherbet standing his ground and not resigning in the face of the most powerful (through illegitimate means) man in County government would do a damn bit of good, you're sorely mistaken. Short of committing an easily provable felony, Price is not going anywhere. His constituents continue to elect him in the face of blatant misconduct because they're either indifferent or apathetic.

Furthermore, there was no poor performance by Sherbet; this was a complete termination by other means. Technically, you can call it a resignation if you want (Sherbet does), but it is totally and completely clear to anyone who is not a Price and/or Jenkins apologist that this was paving the way to put in a partisan Democrat and a poor manager as the "Interim" Elections Administrator.

Certainly, Bruce could have stood his ground, only to result in working on a daily basis with supervisors that don't want you there. I call that a hostile environment to work in. From his perspective, why bother? He's put in more than a sufficient number of years working admirably for the County and has earned his retirement. He doesn't need his salary; his wife makes as much or more than he does. If push comes to shove, he can either form his own political consulting business or join an existing one, earning far more than he made at the County. I wish him the best of luck because I personally know what an honorable and decent man he is, two traits that his detractors don't share.

Commisioners OUT
Commisioners OUT

These County Commisioners are a joke! The old one (John Wiley) has trained the newby (Jenkins) to be his puppet. The only good result of the Sherbet debacle is that these sly guys have brought the voters up to speed on their doings. It will be great when both of these clowns are voted out in the next election. Any bets??

electricgoose
electricgoose

I just got back from the Dallas County Democratic Party Executive Committee meeting and there was a resolution passed to commend and thank Mr. Sherbet for his service to Dallas County. That resolution passed with over 70% of precinct chairs voting in favor. Shockingly Mr. Jenkins' wife and several of his campaign workers led the small opposition. Then a second resolution was passed almost unanimously to commend Chairwoman Ewing for her leadership during the Elections Committee meeting. Once again Jenkins' wife and 3 others were the only people to vote against this resolution. I think that pretty well sums it up.

Jeneheffer
Jeneheffer

Now that Sherbert is gone there will be the fraud at election central just the way Price planned it. Price is a bully and a thug and the rest of the commissioner's court are scared of him EXCEPT Maurine Dickey. I too think the Commissioner's Court should be done away with. Just think of all the money it would save.

cp
cp

You know why she's not afraid of him? Because she has nothing to lose. Which outs everyone else's integrity sitting on that court into question, IMHO.

Justice
Justice

Let me put this in perspective. JWP sleeps 3 hours per night. The rest of the time is spent on schemes directed toward gaining complete control of Dallas County government. Jenkins is nothing but a puppet for Price. Elba is afraid to stand against Price. Dickey is not afraid of Price, but when the new Discrict lines are drawn in two months, Dickey will find herself living in JWP's dictrict one. The commissioner district will all change. Get ready for the future. Fundamental changes need to be made.

Heart and Soul
Heart and Soul

Uh no Rico. I am not Domingo and go ahead and criticize anyone you want.

cp
cp

Hey look down at the bottom right of all the post squares... there are two buttons; one says "like" and one says "reply". If you hit the "reply" button, maybe we can all keep up with whatever you're on about.

heart and soul
heart and soul

Hey look down at the bottom right of all the post squares... there are two buttons; one says "like" and one says "reply". If you hit the "reply" button, maybe we can all keep up with whatever you're on about.

Heart and Soul
Heart and Soul

Wylie H. - The lawyers told the commissioners not to vote on this because there was no contract in place. Also, Sherbet resigned. I don't see how Dr. Garcia went along with corruption. Don't see how she had anything to do with this at all. Damage was done and Sherbet was gone before she even got to vote on anything. Just like you to try to find a way to blame the Hispanic, Wylie.

Mister_Mean
Mister_Mean

Was not Dr. Garcia mentioined in the news regarding the pactice of "vote harvesting"?

Rico
Rico

So let me get this straight. Anyone who criticizes someone who happens to be hispanic is a racist?

Domingo, homey, is that you?

Robert Wilonsky
Robert Wilonsky

From Sherbet-penned op-ed published moments ago on DallasNews.com:

"I resigned because of pressure from Commissioner John Wiley Price and Judge Clay Jenkins. I feel certain that the election commission meeting that Jenkins called was for the purpose of termination. He was quoted in a Dallas Morning News article that the election commission meeting would take five minutes and that “all the members of the committee are free to nominate whomever they want to.”

That does not sound like a performance review to me. By law, there are two purposes of the election commission — to hire or fire an elections administrator. The election commission does not perform performance reviews. This interpretation has been backed up by previous attorney general opinions. In my meeting with Price, he indicated that there were already three votes on the commission to terminate me (Jenkins, Warren, and Tax Assessor John Ames) and that people had been working on Democratic Party Chairwoman Darlene Ewing for the fourth needed vote.

Not one person on the election commission or commissioners court has raised a concern to me about my job performance. In fact, it has been just the opposite. I have received positive comments from them. I do know that I irritated Price in the 2010 general election when I refused his request to send clerks from my office to the Duncanville early voting location on the last day of early voting. I made that decision because I didn’t want to give the appearance of elections department personnel interfering with the “political party-appointed” clerks working at early voting locations. Price actually mentioned that situation when he discussed my resignation."

http://www.dallasnews.com/opin...

Cary D.
Cary D.

Robert, I'd be interested to hear a legal opinion on what Sherbet's chances of pressing a wrongful if not also illegal by statute termination suit now that he has jumped the gun himself and resigned.

His op-ed wants to make the case that a performance review and specifically a bad performance review indicating termination wasn't within the legal purview of the EC. But once you give yourself the worst performance review possible - once you voluntarily RESIGN - no matter what excuse you give for having done so (pressure, that time of the month, etc.) it seems to me any possible wrongful termination by any OTHER party becomes entirely moot.

You don't have any standing at all to review, fire, or replace me, but I resign. So there!

scottindallas
scottindallas

If he had gone the route you suggest, and I don't disagree per se, and set up the case for legal damages any commentary he offered would be questioned as self serving. He has more credibility this way, and, of course Dallas hates shrill people.

Cary D.
Cary D.

I don't give much of a fuck for those here who are only capable of feeling the full feelieness of this episode, or only wailing about meanies, or making imbecilic statements about "blaming the victim", or like RS1963 not even having a clue as to what the game is or who's on which side, but for those who don't want to find themselves, or worse, actively work to become, childlike, helpless "victims" in the future like Sherbet just did, here's how Sherbet fucked himself, not once, but twice.

First, if there was nothing wrong with his performance, and there's no reason at all to think there was, and also if the EC has no jurisdiction from a performance standpoint at all anyway, then the only way he could legally be removed it seems to me is by blunt force, partisan or crony politics. So why resign at all? Who could that possibly benefit, and how? Why not highlight the purely sordid political power play, not by resigning, and not by screaming like a little girl, but just by standing pat on your 25 year solid performance hand? Force JWP and company to make all the purely political, thuggish moves. If, in the end, you're out, you're out, but you're totally pure, you're teflon - not the least bit of stink or question could possibly stick to you. But as things stand now, people will obviously ask: well, really now, why DID he resign...hhhmmmmmm? Must be something we just don't know about.

But it gets worse for you. Now you've resigned, JWP has intimidated you into doing a large part of his heavy lifting and his dirty work for him while also giving him plausible deniability, now you've got to find a new job. But you've made it that much harder for your next political patron or mentor somewhere else to go out on a limb for you by supporting you - because now you have the reputation of being a fucking rabbit, of getting spooked and bolting the first time a JWP just lifts a cheek and farts in your general direction. Why stick your neck out to protect someone who's obviously so cluelessly self-destructive in crisis anyway? There'll always be another candidate who's not. Save your powder. Back him instead, not this Sherbet rabbit.

Maureen Dickey should get EXTRA kudos for the faith and effort she extended to Sherbet, because he sure the fuck didn't have the guts to simply stand pat and let his political allies coalesce around him while he still had a job. Sherbet's next boss sure couldn't be blamed for just standing back and letting the rabbit bolt off into the sunset the next time this happens.

JS
JS

Coming soon - -Clay Jenkins as the Mask!

RS1963
RS1963

"Garland Guy" and "Cary D" (one and the same?) are honestly living on some other planet, or completely out of touch with how politics in Dallas work.

At least their random musings have not picked up one iota of support from any other person one here - people that know better, and know the facts.

I would almost think that our DA's web-semi-savvy nephews/cousins/aunties had suddenly magically reappeared in the blogosphere with their random, off-kilter innuendo in order to support the Dem powers-that-be.

Cary D.
Cary D.

""Garland Guy" and "Cary D" (one and the same?) are honestly living on some other planet, or completely out of touch with how politics in Dallas work. "

JWP and I just told you how politics in Dallas works, RS1963. I tell you to resign, and you start crying like a little bitch baby and resign. Then, you get JWP back by pressing a "Like" button on a blog post lots and lots and lots of times. You go, girl!. Of course, you didn't HAVE to resign, you could have forced JWP to fire you, making everyone publicly ask why you were being fired, but that would have required balls, and you don't have balls, you're a "Like" button presser instead. And so, at the end of the day, the FACTS are (although they could have been different) that Sherbet wasn't "forced out" - he RESIGNED.

"At least their random musings have not picked up one iota of support from any other person one here - people that know better, and know the facts."

Oh, no! But, let's see...yep, no more Sherbet, because...wait for it...he RESIGNED, like a frightened little girl.

"I would almost think that our DA's web-semi-savvy nephews/cousins/aunties had suddenly magically reappeared in the blogosphere with their random, off-kilter innuendo in order to support the Dem powers-that-be."

Are you maybe Chance the gardener from the movie "Being There", thinking you can change reality by pressing a blog post "Like" button, as if it were your magical TV remote?

Don't want JWP to frighten and run off your next favorite? Tell the favorite DON"T GET SCARED, LIKE A LITTLE GIRL, RESIGN, AND RUN OFF, somehow hoping pressing "Like" buttons on a blog after the fact will make some kind of real world difference.

What kind of alternate magical fairyland do you people live in, anyway? Don't you understand that, when power is used against you, it HURTS, but you have to TAKE THE HURT, IN THE FUCKING FACE, IF NECESSARY, AND HURT BACK, HARDER?

Fucking pussies.

RS1963
RS1963

Some therapy might pay off for you, I suspect.

Or how much is JWP paying you per blog post? Or are you earning an hourly rate?

"Like"

Brenda Marks
Brenda Marks

"Cary D", it's obvious I'm not scared (as I post under my own name and will most likely be pummeled by someone at the next democratic event), but your response requires each to continue to pummel the other until someone dies or the office itself is obliterated from the face of the earth. Now exactly how does that contribute to the effective, efficient and honest operation of elections? It's really easy to battle to the end, but if the end results in nothing but destruction, where's the victory there?

Dallas Diner
Dallas Diner

Elba got my vote this time, she won't get it next time.

Joe L
Joe L

No kidding. I voted for Jenkins and I wish I had my vote back.

cp
cp

Did you vote in the Primary?

If you did, and you voted for Jenkins over Larry Duncan or Jim Foster then you have no reason to complain, you are the problem.

BUT, you also didn't have to vote for Jenkins on election day just because he was the Democrat on the ballot. All the Dems who voted a straight ticket can be blamed for this mess. Because it pains you all so much to think for yourselves and decide that, hey maybe a Republican in this position might just be a better bet after all. And look it! Maurine Dickey- a Republican- is the one with the spine to put this consulting option on the agenda. And guess what else? The only two Republicans are the ones who are doing the right thing here!

What's bullshit is that the Commissioners Court and the County Judge slots are partisan in the first place. They shouldn't be.

cp
cp

in response to scottindallas- your points sort of spelled out the reasons why County Commissioners Court should be non-partisan, like the City of Dallas.

scottindallas
scottindallas

CP, I don't think it's a matter of being repulsed by voting Republican, it's not even as if there is a good candidate available; but it's difficult to impossible for us to be informed about all of the positions. It results in a tyranny of the two parties--both are craven, and our media is locked into their biases. There is little objective information, nor is there any way to predict how someone will perform. And, I'd like a candidate to show courage, and that isn't a matter of party affiliation. Again, it seems party pressures are hostile to courageous candidates. Perhaps many of these positions should be appointed and their dealings subject to the open meetings act, so those few real journalists can report and we can hold a lesser number of candidates feet to the fire.

FRED
FRED

Speaking of nothing further from the truth apparently is our County Judge's way of doing things...

Garland Guy
Garland Guy

Jenkins is exactly right. For the first time in years (perhaps ever), Sherbet's fiefdom was going to receive oversight. Instead of defending his agency, Sherbet cut-and-ran. A wimpy action. A fearful man?

Joe L
Joe L

You are so wrong.

shrubstex
shrubstex

Oversight, the Dallas County Republican and Democratic Chairman have been the cheif investigation officers for years. The Elections department has been one of the most watched divisions since the hanging chad controversery in 2000. Why do you think it takes so long to count the paper ballots on election day. While we use electronic voting during the long early voting process, election day we use paper ballots because those electronic voting machines are very expensive. All votes are then bundled up and taken to the elections bureau to be counted. They have the sole descretion to count ballots as they think the voter intended. If Sherbet were in it for the money and power, he was eligible to retire 7 years ago, he was a true ''public servant''. Have you ever seen the cars that JWP drives?

Tedious1000
Tedious1000

Well, he's got the county retirement locked, but that 6 figure salary will be missed in his house. Just saying.

Brenda Marks
Brenda Marks

Garland Guy (whoever you are, although I predict you live somewhere in the Jenkins orbit) -- The facts completely contradict you. They do not support your clap trap. As to "fiefdom" without "oversignt" -- you have no idea what you are talking about.

Cary D.
Cary D.

Don't know why Discus won't let me reply to you above, where Bill Holston and 4 (or more) more like your reply to mine, but you seem to be agreeing with me while trying to make it seem you're contradicting what I'm saying.

So let me reiterate, using your own words, so that we're clear: "Bruce is an honorable guy who doesn't believe the office should be run in a partisan manner. He knew he was not wanted so he left rather than submitting himself and the office to a partisan personal beating."

And that's why he's gone: rather than take a beating to defend his rights and the office, he passively rolled over and resigned. There was no "forced out": forced out is someone sticking you in the spine with something that can cut it in two until you're past the doorway, then shutting it behind you.

The office is taking a partisan beating NOW, BECAUSE Sherbet rolled over so as to to raise any kind of stink. That's how you triumph over soft, passive, insecure people: you threaten to make their lives uncomfortable unless they do what you tell them, and they certainly don't want to find themselves in a position of uncomfortably resisting.

Say what you want about JWP and Jenkins, they are only the stronger because Sherbet was the weaker, and they bother just gave you a very public lesson in how the intimidation of the softer, more passive, weaker party goes down in politics.

Don't want that in the future? Don't be soft, passive, and weak. Don't resign. Make them fire you, publicly, as nastily as possible, so you and they and the office stinks of political violence for months after. Or, just be their bitch.

crispinTx
crispinTx

Talk about blame the victim!

Let's keep one thing clear: the REAL losers here are the voters of Dallas County.

Cary D.
Cary D.

Sad to say, Jenkins is absolutely correct - Bruce Sherbet got rid of Bruce Sherbet.

I wish he hadn't. Just think of the evidence against CC self-dealing power playing, out and out cronyism, and who knows what he could have forced the Politburo to heap on their special interest politics heads if he'd stood his ground and made them fire him for - what, exactly? It wasn't like this was a rape, where not resisting might have saved Sherbet a fistula. Sadly, instead Mr. Sherbet just made a pouty face and folded like a limp rag, making it that much harder for anyone to preserve him or reinstate him.

Wanna know what's wrong with Dallas politics? Easy intimidation like this. It always takes two to get fucked: one to do the bending over.

Brenda Marks
Brenda Marks

Cary -- how can that be possible when JWP presented Sherbet with a letter of resignation on Wednesday before the Friday meeting that JWP (or someone in that building) had drafted? Bruce refused to sign it, and said he would write his own. If Jenkins' is to be believed, it makes him look like a clueless, ineffective, non-leader who just does whatever he is told. I think that is not the case. Thus, Jenkins' story is nothing more than spin. And ineffective spin at that.

Cary D.
Cary D.

Sorry, Sherbet resigned. He should have forced the issue otherwise to its bitter end. You don't fight corruption by being a passive, low-cost barrier to it.

Bettyculbreath
Bettyculbreath

He knew he would be fired on Friday.You people don't know what its like at Dallas County under John Price.Jenkins also said he did not ask Sherbet to get off County property and sent his belonging to his house,Daryle Martin said Price and Jenkins wanted him gone.Who's telling truth?

Brenda Marks
Brenda Marks

Sorry to tell you Cary, but Bruce is an honorable guy who doesn't believe the office should be run in a partisan manner. He knew he was not wanted so he left rather than submitting himself and the office to a partisan personal beating. He was forced out. And Jenkins had to have known about it in advance. In fact, things I have been told by those close to him support that he knew this was going to happen and was stunned that it caused such a backlash. As a democrat, I don't enjoy having to keep stating the facts because they do not reflect well on us. It pains me. But I think good government is far more important than partisan politics. And I no longer am going to go along to get along. Nor am I going to complain anonymously.

Guest
Guest

Question relating to this:

If a county employee is fired "for cause", can he also lose his county pension?

Thelisma Partridge
Thelisma Partridge

Brenda, actions speak louder than words. Jenkins looks like a clueless, ineffective non-leader who just does whatever he is told because he is a clueless, ineffective non-leader who just does whatever he is told.

I also find it disturbing how Clay's forehead mimics JWP's corn-rows.....

Guest
Guest

"need to do more with less,"

Like, maybe, hiring a consultant to run the elections department instead of having a full-time person and staff. Oh, but you voted that down. So, it's not about saving money, it's about putting a JWP lackey in the position.

"I don't want to mischaracterize that there has been a conspiracy to oust Mr. Sherbet, because nothing could be further from the truth."

Translation: There was no "conspiracy" because a conspiracy requires a degree of secrecy, and John Wiley Price and I got together to oust Mr. Sherbet out in front of everybody.

Wylie H.
Wylie H.

So far, Elba Garcia is playing exactly the role I envisioned... the polite face of soft corruption. Always ready to support the machine and the forces of evil, but with a smile and a pleasant disposition.

shrubstex
shrubstex

Elba has never taken a position with out taking a poll first in her district. She does not seem to be much of a thinker.

rubbercow
rubbercow

Sadly, you and Thelisma have it pretty much nailed.

Thelisma Partridge
Thelisma Partridge

Elba votes however Domingo tells her to.

Domingo tells Elba to do whatever JWP tells him to tell her.

My question is: when is Clay's performance review?

cp
cp

I'm guessing in four years. This is only the beginning...

Montemalone
Montemalone

Think how much money we could save if we got rid of the Commissioners Court. What do they do anyway that couldn't be consolidated into City of Dallas?

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

General

Loading...