Dallas County official says he was forced to resign




Posted on January 27, 2011 at 8:17 PM

Updated Thursday, Jan 27 at 9:11 PM

DALLAS - The man considered by many to be Dallas' most respected county official said he was forced to resign.

After 27 years as the Dallas County elections administrator Bruce Sherbet said two Democrats, the newly elected county judge Clay Jenkins and Commissioner John Wiley Price, joined forces to have him removed.

Sherbet's character and abilities were rarely called into question, according to Democratic Party Chairperson Darlene Ewing.  

"I respect him," Ewing said. "I think he's one of the finest election administrators there is."

Monday, Jenkins called for a surprise meeting of the five-member Dallas County Elections Commission to review Sherbet's performance. At the time, Jenkins would offer no specifics as to why, other than the law called for it.

A long-time county commissioner, Price was in favor of the review and equally vague.

But, Commissioner Maureen Dickey said she knew it was bad for Sherbet when he was called into Price's office late Wednesday afternoon.

"I saw Mr. Sherbet get off the elevator and go into Mr. Price's office and the door was closed," she said.

Sherbet has now tendered his resignation, saying he was pressured to resign or face termination by the Elections Commission, which many feel would not have actually terminated him.

"It's really been my only job," Sherbet said in his resignation letter. "It's been challenging. I've stumbled sometimes, but I love Dallas County and wouldn't change a thing. I really didn't want to leave, but I had no choice."

Dickey, a Republican, said leaders from both parties are upset.

"I see this as devastating for our county," she said. "I only hope that if the powers that be won't retain him that they will find somebody - I don't know where - that will have that kind of stature."

There seems to be little dispute that two specific powers that be wanted him gone.