When Lisa Chambers was hired in June 2010 to become Dallas County's new Director of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, John Wiley Price had nothing but the nicest things to say about the former intelligence officer: "She's got the kind of background that says she can handle the job," he told The Dallas Morning News. "She seems like she's up to the task -- at least on paper. She's quite impressive." And Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins was especially tickled more recently that Chambers managed to get the county in on the Dallas Mavericks's victory parade. Every thing seemed so hunky and so dory. Then, suddenly, it wasn't.
Chambers, who once told D she appeared on David Letterman's talk show during her brief career as a would-be stand-up comic, was fired yesterday. Per Kevin Krause, she was escorted out by security and treated "very shabbily." But why? Krause hints that it could have something to do with those satellites for which the county way overpaid because equity ain't cheap. (Neither is storage, which, apparently, is why John Wiley Price has 'em under lock and key.) Chambers, Krause notes, had made it abundantly clear: She was ... displeased, let's say, with that particular purchase. Very unwise. Though, very Wai-Wize.
But moments ago, Dallas County spokesperson Maria Arita sent to media a missive from Jenkins in which he takes responsibility for axing Chambers -- something to do with "performance issues," though he's not more specific. He also goes out of his way to say that "I did not consult with any Commissioner on my decision nor share my decision with any of them prior to her termination."
Scott Greeson, who was an emergency management planner under Chambers, is the temporary director while a nationwide search for Chambers's replacement takes place. Jump for the full statement.
Update: Jack Fink at KTVT-Channel 11 talked to Chambers, who says her firing may have had to do with the fact she wouldn't sweep the home of Dapheny Fain for surveillance devices following the FBI's raid on her home in June. Fain, of course, is John Wiley Price's assistant. She told county administrator Darryl Martin via email: "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."
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Dallas County relieves Director of Homeland Security of her duties, effective immediately
Dallas, TX - County Judge Clay Jenkins has made the determination to remove Lisa Chambers from her post as Director of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEM). Judge Jenkins said the dismissal is effective immediately and added, "As the elected official in charge of Homeland Security and Emergency Management for Dallas County, I have a duty to put the safety of the people of this County first.
I made the decision to terminate Ms. Chamber's employment relationship with Dallas County as Director of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEM) and appoint Scott Greeson as interim director.
The decision was made after interviews with HSEM 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.
The decision was mine alone. I did not consult with any Commissioner on my decision nor share my decision with any of them prior to her termination. Scott Greeson is currently the Director of Planning for Dallas County HSEM. He will continue in that capacity as well as serve as Interim Director."
A nationwide search for a permanent replacement is being undertaken.