By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Eric Nicholson
Simpson's supposed business background was impressive enough to convince former Dallas Mayor Steve Bartlett to appoint Simpson to the board of the former Private Industry Council in 1993. The PIC board has since been renamed the Dallas County Local Workforce Development Board, which in part provides employment training for unemployed and displaced workers.
Board president Laurie Bouillion Larrea says all board members are required to list their employers with the board, and she provided the Observer with a copy of the resume that Simpson gave the old PIC board in 1993.
Bartlett could not be reached for comment, but his assistant, Becky Campoverde, says Simpson called Bartlett out of the blue and volunteered to serve on the PIC board. Getting people to accept volunteer positions on the board was a "hard sell," Campoverde says, so when Simpson stepped up and asked to be appointed, the mayor was receptive.
Bartlett met with Simpson, and Campoverde says the mayor was impressed by Simpson's resume and his personality.
"He was impressed that Mr. Simpson had good ideas for employment and training," Campoverde says. "As far as Mr. Bartlett could tell, Mr. Simpson did a very good job on the PIC board."
Simpson may have done a good job on the PIC board, but it appears that he artfully crafted the resume he provided to the board. If Simpson's resume were a car, it would look like one of those ghetto Escorts, an economy job tricked out with gold rims, fat tires, and thundering speakers.
At the top of the resume, where Simpson listed his BBA from Baylor, he made no mention of his time at Temple Junior College. He did claim that he had studied investment management at the "graduate level" at Baylor.
It's possible that Simpson may have taken a graduate level course or two, but it's doubtful his post-graduate studies were much to boast about. Simpson received his undergraduate degree on May 16, 1986, and by December of that year he was already living in Dallas, according to Bell County Court records.
On December 26, 1986, Simpson was caught driving drunk in Temple. He told police that he lived at 8610 Southwestern Boulevard, unit 806, in Dallas.
In that case (number 87-76460 in Bell County), Simpson was put on two years' probation and fined $400 plus court costs. Simpson's only other known run-in with the law also occurred in Temple. On April 12, 1981, the high school senior spent the night in jail after he was arrested for public intoxication. Simpson paid a $35.50 fine, according to Bell County case number JA0018845.
The local chapter of the Boy Scouts of America confirms that Simpson is an assistant scoutmaster of Troop 72. But Simpson's claim that he was the "Vice Chairman" of a "Community Development Block Grant Advisory Committee" from September 1981 through July 1983 appears to be a bit exaggerated, according to Temple city secretary Clydette Entzminger. Simpson was appointed to a one-time community development advisory committee, which spearheaded the construction of a neighborhood center, but Entzminger says she doubts Simpson was the board's vice chairman.
"There was no indication of any officers appointed," says Entzminger, who adds that the committee met only for a brief period of time. "There may have been some other activities, but they don't appear to extend beyond the '81-'82 time period."
Simpson's employment record is equally foggy.
The people answering the phones at what's left of Southmark Corporation say they have destroyed all of their personnel files from before 1992 and they can't confirm whether Simpson was ever employed there. But Simpson could not have been an "Assistant Vice President" because the company didn't have such a position, says spokeswoman Sherry Winchester.
"That just wasn't a position that was available. I would even question that title," Winchester says.
The dozen grandiose jobs that Simpson claimed he completed at Southmark sounded equally suspicious to Winchester, who says that the company did not have a "financial analyst staff" and that she knew the person who managed the company's computers, and he wasn't Bill Simpson.
When asked about the Southmark position, Simpson insisted that the company had assistant vice presidents, but that his title may have been changed to vice president by the end of his employment there.
Officials at Globe Mortgage Company couldn't be reached for comment about Simpson's claim of having worked there.
Texas Secretary of State records show that a company named SolTec had its incorporation status forfeited in February 1996 because company officials failed to pay their taxes. Dallas attorney Kenneth Niesman, who is listed as SolTec's registered agent, did not return the Observer's phone calls.
While Bill Simpson says he has depleted his "life's savings" on the NTLC, one of his former associates speculates privately that Simpson's real source of money is a family trust. But it's hard to tell, given Simpson's unwillingness to discuss his family at any length.
Simpson says he has two sisters and a brother; his dad died when he was young, and his mom died of cancer in 1989.
"I'm basically an orphan," he says, declining to name any of his siblings or provide information about their whereabouts. "I don't see how that would be relevant."