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.