Dallas County Commissioner’s Court Accepts Elections Admin’s Resignation

By Jay Gormley, CBS 11 News

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The Dallas County Elections Commission met for the first time since the late 1980s Friday to decide the fate of the man who has presided over elections in the county for nearly a quarter of a century.

An unhappy crowd filed out of the Dallas County Commissioner’s Court Friday after learning that Elections Administrator Bruce Sherbet was officially leaving his post.

“Judge (Clay) Jenkins is taking the incredible position that this is somehow Bruce’s fault. I find it shameful and I’m very disappointed,” said Elections Commission member Jonathan Neerman.

Democrats and Republicans rallied together on Sherbet’s behalf after he turned in his resignation Thursday. Sherbet, who has served as Dallas County Elections Administrator since 1987, said he felt he was being forced out by County Judge Clay Jenkins and Commissioner John Wiley Price.

Both deny the accusation and say Sherbet acted rashly.

“The meeting was held to do a performance review of a department head who has not been reviewed for 24 years,” Jenkins said. “The meeting was not held to fire Mr. Sherbet. In fact, Mr. Sherbet knew there were not sufficient votes.

Sherbet’s supports say he remained a pillar of impartiality. His backers claim he wasn’t given a fair performance evaluation and was instead blind-sided by a meeting that hasn’t been called in more than 20 years.

Some members of the Election Commission disagree.

“All I wanted to do was review the elections department by a committee that has not met in 24 years,” said Darleen Ewing, a commission member. “He then suddenly resigns. Why is he afraid to come and have us review his performance in the elections department?”

Sherbet said he appreciated the kind words and support he received in the past week. The commission officially accepted his resignation and he will not be given another chance to reapply for the job.

“Most people don’t know about the good things a person does until it appears in their obituary,” Sherbet said. “I had the rare chance to read my obituary this week and it was pretty darn good.”

Toni Tippins-Poole will take over as temporary elections administrator on March 1, 2011, Sherbet’s last day. Tippins-Poole will remain at the post until after a nationwide search is conducted to find a permanent replacement.

Comments

One Comment

  1. Clay Henderson says:

    Absolutely no one in ANY government position in the USA, has the right to expect to go this long without a job performance review. This man’s EGO proved itself out in his sudden resignation. There needs to be a thorough audit and review of the Dallas County Elections Commission, and an explanation from our County Commissioner’s Court as to why this department and its head were allowed to go unaudited for decades.

    The election commission is one agency that can neither afford impropriety or even the appearance of impropriety. Our entire democracy is rooted in the honest and open work of this agency and its head.

  2. Rhonda says:

    Clay,
    My mother worked as an administrator for a city in Dallas County and worked with Mr. Sherbet many, many times. She is turning over in her grave with this nonsense. He was one of the few people she found to be very fair, impartial and upright in everything he did concerning the elections. In the many years of service, there was nothing to indicate anything less than a stellar review was warranted. If there had been serious questions of impropriety or anything like that, then it would be prudent for the commission to meet. There was not, and it was a waste of taxpayer dollars when they are in short supply to even call a meeting.
    This is about power, not questionable ethics or impropriety. Throughout this week there has not been one thing brought up that would lead anyone of reasonable mind to conclude anything was improper. I don’t know if you have ever worked for a government agency, but I have and both my parents spent a lifetime in public service. They did it out of love and came out of it with very little in the way of retirement or other benefits. Most of the time it is about a power grab, or a friend of a friend (or even someone you thought was a friend) making a move to get to the top, I do not see this as a move that will improve the process in Dallas County, I see it as a move to less openness and more problems in the elections department. Just watch and see. A good man was pushed out and the voters and taxpayers will suffer for it.

  3. harperip says:

    I can’t believe the media continues to make this a high priority story with no theory or explanation from Mr Sherbet. I figure there are 3 reliable possibilities. 1, Sherbet is ridiculously thin skinned and impulsive and quit based on a fear of Jenkins and Price. 2, he has serious skeletons that he is hiding and he didn’t want a fightnbringing those skeletons out into the middle of the room. or 3, Jenkins and Price are lying through their teeth and they ran off a good dude. if the media would do their job thoroughly, we would know the answer. also I could not stand by while someone downplays the comprehensive retirement package that almost all public servants get. I have a handful of friends and relatives that had careers in public service, and all of them are in similar situations regarding their retirement. they make a minimum of 80% of their ending comp level with full health benefits. that slaughters anything they could have hoped for in the private sector. they are doing just fine so let’s not over dramatize their sacrifices for the public good. they are not rich, but they don’t man cardboard signs on the street corners either.

  4. willshine says:

    The hold system is Corrupted and that is why Texas is messed up there our no right person not a one. Power-Greed- inmortal

  5. Elmer says:

    “Impartiality” to Sherbet meant let any warm or cold body vote. I am glad that he is gone.

  6. Victoria Lynn Strickland says:

    I have known Bruce since 1975 and he has always been a good and honest man. To see him having to go through this nonsense hurts very deeply. If his performance has been so good then why call a performance review? It makes no sense whatsoever. I’ve worked elections in Dallas County and there were never any problems with the procedures he oversaw or put in place. Once again an honest man has been forced out of office by those who want power and they don’t care who they hurt in the process. After what happened in Houston, I shudder to think what will now happen here without this honest man in charge. God help us all.

    1. Clay Henderson says:

      A.) Mr. Sherbet was not “forced out”… He quit rather than let his work and his record stand for itself.

      B.) No one working for any government agency has an absolute right to 20+ years without an employment review, no matter how well liked he or she is… NOT to perform standard reviews would be complete negligence on the part of the elected leaders. This shines a light on why it was necessary to replace the previous majority of county administrators in Dallas County.

      C.) I guarantee you that Mr. Sherbet did not let his own employees go two decades without an employment review. And what is good for the goose is good for the gander.

  7. heather says:

    John Wiley Price is involved, which means I “vote” for harperrip’s theory #3!

  8. Donia says:

    I agree with Heather,if John Wiley Price is involved it is not on the up & up. I think that they are setting the stage to be able to manipulate the votes come 2012!

  9. Dave says:

    Just watched tonight’s story on this subject tonight. JWP has to pull the race card. How sickening.

  10. Kade says:

    John Wiley Price is clearly one of the biggest RACISTS the city/county of Dallas has, unfortunately, continued to fail to review his job performance/actions/misappropriations without question.

  11. Youarenotfree says:

    All you have to know to be on Mr. Sherbet’s side is that John Wiley Price, a hateful race baiting snake in the grass who’s been a thorn in the side of Dallas for decades, had him in his sights. To be scrutinized by the likes of him was not something Mr. Sherbet should have had to endure.

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