Public Workers Found Cleaning Boss’ Yard Following Storms

By Bud Gillett, CBS 11 News

IRVING (CBSDFW.COM) – While people all over North Texas were cleaning up after Tuesday’s storms, CBS 11 found an unusual situation at the home of one local government employee’s house.

As a chorus of chainsaws sang out in Irving, uniformed employees of the Dallas County Utility and Reclamation District (DCURD) —a tax-funded special law district—were busy clearing debris from the private home of a supervisor.

“I hadn’t been to bed all night long,” explained Dallas Burke, who says nearly dozen of his workers volunteered their lunch hour to work on his home after working overnight to keep Irving waterways from flooding; but they also used government equipment and government trucks to get there.  “And they said, ‘Hey, Dallas, it’s lunch time, can we go clear some trees for you?’  And just spur of the moment—I was just tired—I said, ‘Great!’ and I wasn’t even thinking.” Still, work came to a halt when our camera showed up.

“They were on a misguided effort to help Mr. Burke,” said DCURD’s general manager, Jackey Knox, who insists this kind of cleanup is not allowed.  “Mr. Burke will be addressed and he will pay for whatever time and equipment was utilized in accomplishing that,” said Knox.

The bill will be roughly $320 for labor, equipment, and truck mileage.  DCURD handles storm drainage and flood control infrastructure for the picturesque lakes and canals of Las Colinas and Valley Ranch.  The bulk of DCURD taxpayers are office buildings, almost no private residences.

Still, Knox says the action taken Wednesday morning sends the wrong message to people like Jeff Spears, who bought his own chain saw today for his cleanup.  “Me, personally, I would get my own equipment or hire my own people,” says Spears, who adds, “I wouldn’t expect anyone to do it for free—unless they were volunteering.”

“A bad decision on my part and I guess most likely it’ll cost me my job,” Burke concluded.  Burke’s boss, though, won’t speculate on his future, other than to say the actions will likely be reviewed by DCURD’s board of directors.


One Comment

  1. 2sister says:

    I agree that what he did was wrong, but their is no reason to cuss to get your point across.

    1. YRofTexas says:

      Agreed. Ren Bel has a potty mouth! Nasty boy!

      I believe that Burke shows remorse and was truly not thinking. Let him pay up and keep his job. Let all learn from his oversight!

      1. les says:

        you are reading words not hearing words !!!!! it sounds like you are letting your own mind run away !!!! do you really know what this person was thinking ??? clean up your own thoughts before you criticize others . dumb a##

      2. YRofTexas says:

        Correction…LES has the potty mouth! Thanks for clarifying! You are certainly one for a limited vocabulary and limited mind.

        Guess your Mom never washed your mouth out with soap?

        Grab a bar; never too late!

      3. les says:

        well there is no doubt what i’m thinking . good bye

  2. Ms. M says:

    Just another government-paid employee thinking he’s above the law and he can do whatever he wants. Senators, Governors, State Representatives, etc. get away with this type of behavior so why be different from any other government employee?

  3. Rick McDaniel says:

    Make this guy reimburse the city for the time spent by public employees, on his property.

    The total impropriety of his actions, should also get him fired.

  4. julie h. says:

    We know the Burke family personally. We used to go to church with them. They are wonderful Christian people who spend their free time serving others on mission trips, volunteering at local charities, etc. They are fine upstanding people. This was truly an honest mistake & they should be forgiven as Christ forgave us.

    1. Michael says:

      Oh, lets just give all Christians a pass, on everything!

      1. YRofTexas says:

        Hey, I’m up for that!!! Thanks Michael!

    2. les says:

      how in the he## did god get involved with this ????????????? !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. jake says:

    Yuh…like this is a big deal. Then or course, living in a world where we choose to think the worse is far better than one where we help each other out. On the face of it, the story ought to be how we take a good deed and turn it into something. Then again, when you can’t handle the big problemsa it is always easier to turn the little nonsense stuff into issues we can all feel powerful about. Goodnight.

  6. Eliza says:

    Can we not do what we want on our own lunch. They were helping everyone else but on there lunch they can’t help the boss. SO MANY PEOPLE THINK ONLY OF THEM SELF.

  7. Andrew says:

    “The bill will be roughly $320 for labor, equipment, and truck mileage.”

    What ? A crew of four (or maybe six based on the photo) and the bill is only $320 ?
    What was the actual cost to taxpayers ?

  8. Nic says:

    “What is the actual cost to taxpayers?” Really? What is the cost to your company for surfing the web and posting comments on company time or to my company for that matter? People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones and we all live in glass houses because none of us could stand being put under a microscope. Not the reporter or anyone commenting or you or me. If the reporter had a problem with what was going on he should have contacted the man’s boss. Putting it on the news is about public humiliation. So now everyone gets a slap on the wrist and people are arguing back and forth, pointing fingers and feeling holier than thou. Shouldn’t we all have better things to talk about?

  9. Mel G says:

    Looks like that tornado wasn’t the only thing kicking up dirt! Turning a story of good will and friendship into a scandalous and strategically edited story sure to gain viewers and bloggers – good job, Bud!

Comments are closed.

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