Damaging e-mails from former Dallas County security chief released

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by BRETT SHIPP

WFAA

Posted on October 31, 2011 at 11:15 PM

DALLAS - Records obtained by News 8 indicate the former Dallas County Homeland Security Director had been sending “unprofessional emails” and submitting suspicious time card entries.

Former Dallas County Homeland Security and Emergency Management Director Lisa Chambers claims her termination last week was in retaliation for pointing out too many irregularities during her 16 months on the job. Now, for the first time, the county is making its side of the story known and it does not paint a flattering portrait of Chambers short time on the job.

County Judge Clay Jenkins causes of action were provided in response to a News 8 open records request. Among them, a series of e-mails from Chambers that Jenkins said were both inappropriately sent late at night and unprofessional.

Two of them sent to Judge Jenkins and other co-workers were sent after 4 a.m. The content of some of her messages were also a concern, according to Jenkins.

One sent to Judge Jenkins and others read, "I didn't serve overseas with C.I.A. in some dangerous situations to be told by some F.B.I. guy that I can't go talk to my boss."

Another email was sent to the top F.B.I. official in Dallas, Robert Casey.

"As a former CIA officer who has served overseas in some dangerous situations, this really pisses me off," wrote Chambers.

Of Health Department Director Zach Thompson she wrote, "If I hear him get one more kudos for delivering an a.c. unit I am going to barf. He can't hold on to any serious staff, is a crappy leader".

Chambers goes on, "All the rest of our cities thinks he sucks. Sorry to be so blunt. But let's get real. In a real emergency I don't have one bit of confidence in this yahoo."

When asked if she regrets using that tone of language about Thompson, Chambers told News 8, “Well, when you get to a point when you are in such a toxic environment, I could have probably worded it a little differently."

In addition the allegations of late night and unprofessional emails, Judge Jenkins accuses Chambers of being drunk at a July 4 celebration, of making untruthful statements about co-workers and of the possible falsification of her time records.

In short, she's accused of being gone from work over long periods of time.

Chambers says she's never seen specific allegations and still believes it all amounts to retaliation.

"There are a lot of irregularities at Dallas County,” Chambers said. “If you point those out you are sort of finding yourself in a sand trap very quickly."

As to all of the CIA references made by Chambers to her co-workers and bosses, Chambers did work for the CIA as a public affairs officer for just over two years.

Yet according to her last job evaluation she “appears to have limited knowledge of her job”. Her job, to make sure Dallas County residents remain safe during a disaster.

E-mail bshipp@wfaa.com

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