Despite protests, Sherbet will not return as Dallas County elections chief

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by BRAD WATSON

WFAA

Posted on January 28, 2011 at 9:47 PM

Updated Friday, Jan 28 at 10:15 PM

DALLAS - Longtime Dallas County Elections Administrator Bruce Sherbet won't be coming back.

Despite protests Friday and pleas from both parties for Sherbet to stay on,  the County Election Committee, which hasn't met since 1987, voted to decline an offer from Sherbet to return. Sherbet has served in the position for 24 years.

The commission met at the insistence of new County Judge Clay Jenkins, who serves on the commission along with two other Democratic county officials and the Democratic and Republican party chairs.

Sherbet resigned Thursday, claiming he was pressured to make the decision. He said he would return to the job if he could receive a two-year contract. The commission voted to turn that offer down.

Before the meeting, there was a rare show of unity between Democratic and Republican activists in support of Sherbet. The protestors held signs and wore shirts touting his fair and non-partisan execution of elections over the years.

Sherbet resigned after Jenkins said his job performance should be reviewed. However, Jenkins has never publicly criticized Sherbet.

According to Sherbet, when he met with Jenkins in December, the only change the judge suggested was more voter outreach.

"The way we do a performance review is for the committee to do the performance review," Jenkins said. "... This has gone off the rails into some partisan stuff that was not intended in doing performance reviews."

"It's hard to believe that you could call a meeting in four days and do a performance review of a man who has been a public servant for 24 years, " said Jonathan Neerman, Dallas County GOP chairman. "There was no performance review done to Bruce Sherbet other than the judge express his displeasure with Mr. Sherbet."

The commission picked Sherbet's assistance to serve as an interim replacement through the municipal elections in June. A national search for a permanent replacement will ensue.

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