L'Affair Dupree is only getting more interesting. This week in Buzz, we reported that Constable Mike Dupree packed up his office in the wake of a rather unsexy sex scandal. Turns out, three of his employees have given affidavits describing how the openly gay Dupree has sexually harassed his male employees.
"He's asking them to his home and to dinner," says Dallas County Commissioner Ken Mayfield, who has seen the affidavits. "He talks to one about going on a cruise with him. He touches them when he talks to them."
Mayfield says that like it's a bad thing?
These affidavits come in the wake of the Dallas Observer's stories of how Dupree arranged to have his romantic interest deported to Honduras after the young man took up with a former stripper at Chicas Bonitas, a nightclub on Harry Hines.
So between the whole thing with the Honduran boyfriend and these new affidavits, has Dupree resigned?
That's the question we posed to his No. 2 yesterday, chief Deputy Robert McIntyre, who said that he did not know. "He did get his stuff out of his office," we quoted him as saying. So that's how we left it. We didn't report that Dupree resigned but certainly suggested that the elected official was on the verge of turning in his badge.
Today, however, in its own story about Dupree's problems, The Dallas Morning News reported that the constable is on vacation. So we paid a visit to McIntyre in Dupree's office in Oak Cliff and asked him what was up. McIntyre now tells us that Dupree is on vacation, visiting his mom in Alabama. So why didn't he tell us that yesterday?
McIntyre says that yesterday he really didn't know what his boss was up to, as he'd heard talk that the constable was planning on resigning. But did he pack up his office? McIntyre says he only saw his boss move some of his stuff out of his office, a few papers and folders, but not everything.
I'm not sure if McIntyre misspoke or if I misquoted him. I went back and looked at my notes, and I have him saying what I quoted him as saying. But I do know this: McIntyre is in an incredibly awkward situation. Turns out, he's one of the people who gave an affidavit about his boss.
After my visit with McIntyre, I spoke with Commissioner Mayfield. He says that McIntyre corroborated the stories of at least two staffers who claim they were sexually harassed. (Mayfield only told us this because McIntyre was identified as one of the affidavit writers in a stack of anonymous letters dropped off at an Oak Cliff restaurant. We received a copy of that letter yesterday.)
Mayfield, who was recalling the affidavits from memory, also says that McIntyre was in a meeting with Dupree and a staffer where the staffer told the constable that he was uncomfortable with his advances and wanted them to stop.
Mayfield adds that at some point, McIntyre told Dupree he "should probably try to have a relationship with someone who was older and outside the office." Dupree's reported response?
"Yeah, you're probably right."
After I talked to Mayfield, I called McIntyre and asked him if he is one of the employees who gave an affidavit about his boss. "I did," he told us. That's all he would say. For what it's worth, people who've worked with McIntyre say he is a stand-up guy. But now he is having to answer questions about his vacationing boss who might be resigning or might not be and who may have packed up his office or may not have.
Mayfield, whose district includes Constable Dupree's Oak Cliff-area Precinct Five, says that regardless of whether Dupree plans to resign, he might not want to get too comfortable in his office.
"We're going to seek to remove him immediately," he says, "and ask a district judge to appoint someone to run the office."
Yesterday, the Dallas County Commissioners issued a vague order for an investigation of Mike Dupree. Asked if he thinks Dupree will be in office six months from today, Mayfield gives an emphatic "No." --Matt Pulle