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Dallas Homeland Security Director Talks About Firing

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(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Jack Fink
Jack moved to Dallas after three years at WESH-TV, the NBC affil...
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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – After only 15 months as Dallas County’s Homeland Security and Emergency Management Director, Lisa Chambers was fired Tuesday.  “It was a sad day for me.”

She says she was told her time card didn’t match her county parking pass.  “It’s not supposed to be a desk job, Emergency Management. As a department head, if they had an issue with that, why was that not brought to my attention before?”

Chambers believes she was fired for raising a red flag during the FBI corruption investigation into county commissioner John Wiley Price.

The FBI raided Price’s house and office, and those of his county assistant Dapheny Fain.

Chambers says a county security employee told her that Fain asked him to sweep her house for hidden cameras or microphones.

Chambers showed CBS 11 an email in which she complained to county administrator Darryl Martin. “This isn’t the right thing to do if you were under FBI investigation, and you want to have your house sweeped, google 1-800-house sweep.”

Martin says he had discussed the county doing the sweep at Fain’s house, but that ultimately, the county security chief was uncomfortable doing so. Martin says Fain later decided to have a private company do the job anyway.

Fain’s attorney, Tom Mills, says he didn’t have any knowledge whether his client asked a county employee to do the sweep.  If so, he says she didn’t go very far.  He says he was in touch with private companies to do the job.

The FBI hasn’t commented on this situation. But experts believe the FBI wouldn’t have placed hidden cameras or microphones.

Martin insists the situation had nothing to do with Chambers’ firing.  But soon after that, Chambers says the county requested she seek counseling.  She says a doctor told her she was okay, but in a bad work environment. “I was told I had a problem, that my emails were nuts.”

In a statement, Dallas County Commissioners Court Judge Clay Jenkins said, “…the decision to fire her was made after interviews with staff.  A review of county records and other information surrounding performance issues.   Meetings have been had with Ms. Chambers since July, but the situation did not improve…”

Chambers says she’s now seeking a Homeland Security position in the private sector.

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