Perhaps most disappointing to everyone gathered in support of Bruce Sherbet at yesterday's Election Commission meeting was the refusal of Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins to face his critics after he and two other Democrats, County Clerk John Warren and County Tax Assessor-Collector John Ames, voted against reappointing Sherbet to his gig as elections administrator. Jenkins did, however, speak with reporters afterward, and you can see most of it above.
Dallas County Democratic Party chair Darlene Ewing -- who voted with her counterpart, Jonathan Neerman, to keep Sherbet in place -- said the trio of Jenkins, Warren and Ames had reservations about placing Sherbet in a position he supposedly didn't want and expressed concerns about reappointing someone apparently so afraid to be reviewed that he resigned.
We asked Ewing: You don't think he was really afraid of being reviewed, do you?
"No," she replied.
Ewing said "nobody contacted me" about any effort to push Sherbet out of office and when asked if she thought such an attempt to do so existed, she said, "Let's just say the three votes came easy."
So what exactly was the original purpose of the get-together?
"It was just to bring the Elections Committee together and talk about the Elections Department," Ewing said she was told by Jenkins.
Neerman, who made a motion to open the meeting to the public and was supported by Ewing, told us that Jenkins balked at the request because it dealt with personnel issues and said the size of the crowd created "a carnival-like atmosphere." Neerman points out that these reasons contradicted the one given to him earlier: that the meeting wasn't subject to the Open Meetings Act.
"I'm very disappointed in our county government," he said shortly after the meeting, which included two county attorneys.
Below you'll find two videos of the crowd chanting "Bruce, Bruce, Bruce!" before the meeting and "We want Bruce back! We want Bruce back!" while the commission met behind closed doors. On the following page, we've posted more pics from the event.
Update: Wade Emmert, Jenkins' Republican opponent in the November election for county judge, posted this to his blog:
I've withdrawn my name from Clay Jenkins' "Transition Team." In the past 3 months, it's met only once and that was for the press conference. By the looks of his poor conduct and judgment over the last week, it looks like Clay's transition is complete. That didn't take long.