Dallas Area Rapid Transit board chairman Lynn Flint Shaw’s resignation today is the first public eruption of a whole hell of a lot of fire and brimstone going on beneath the surface this week.
Unfair Park has learned Mayor Tom Leppert has been calling council members today from Mexico, where he's on a trade tour, pushing former Dallas City Manager John Ware as Shaw's replacement. Leppert is trying to head off an effort to reinstate former DART board member Joyce Foreman, according to sources who spoke to me today on the condition of anonymity. Leppert helped get Foreman cut from the board to make room for Shaw. Ware, who served as city manager from 1993 to '98, is currently president and chief executive officer of 21st Century Group, a Dallas-based private equity firm that's partners with John Muse and Jack Furst's HM Capital.
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We've also learned from those same sources that Leppert is also trying to get lawyer Michael Sorrell kicked off the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport Board of Directors to make room for Frederick D. Haynes III, the clergyman who helped sell Leppert to the Southern sector. As we've noted, Sorrell and Shaw dispute precisely how much she paid him during her failed city council campaign.
Shaw claimed in a sworn campaign document that she had paid Sorrell $19,000 as a campaign consultant. But Sorrell told me he had been paid less than $2,000 and could prove it with documents. Now Leppert is trying to get him off the airport board and give the post to Haynes.
Shaw is a key member of Leppert's political team. He appointed her treasurer of the Friends of Tom Leppert committee, even though the city’s ethics laws say a city council appointee can’t serve as treasurer of a political committee. Leppert and Dallas City Attorney Tom Perkins say Friends of Tom Leppert is not political. But the committee raises and pays tens of thousands of dollars a month to Carol Reed, Leppert’s political consultant. What that means: Leppert has reached the extra inch to support Shaw and keep her close.
The word I’m getting on John Ware? People are asking Leppert if he’s kidding. --Jim Schutze