'Uncomfortable' situation means early exit for Dallas County elections boss

Bruce Sherbet

Credit: WFAA

Dallas County Elections Administrator Bruce Sherbet will not be returning to his office.

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by BRAD WATSON

WFAA

Posted on January 31, 2011 at 10:08 PM

Updated Tuesday, Feb 1 at 2:59 AM

DALLAS — Longtime Dallas County Elections Administrator Bruce Sherbet learned Monday he won't be returning to his office at all.

Sherbet confirmed to News 8 and WFAA.com that County Administrator Darryl Martin contacted him and indicated that returning would create an "uncomfortable" situation in the elections office and the county would agree to pay him through March 1, the effective date of the resignation he tendered last week.

Late Monday, Martin confirmed he had urged Sherbet to leave office now.

"I thought it would be in the best interest of the staff of the Elections Department, Mr. Sherbet and Ms. Pippins-Poole if Mr. Sherbet's resignation was effective immediately," Martin said in an e-mail response to News 8.

Sherbet said county workers delivered personal property from his office to his home on Monday afternoon.

Sherbet resigned after County Judge Clay Jenkins called a meeting last Friday of the Dallas County Election Commission, a group of county officials and chairs of each political party that hires and fires the elections administrator.

The commission had not met since Sherbet was hired in 1987.

Jenkins, a Democrat who just took office January 1, said at first the law required the group to meet,  but then indicated it was time for a "performance review" of Sherbet.

Other sources indicated that Jenkins and Democratic County Commissioner John Wiley Price wanted to replace Sherbet. Sherbet resigned prior to the Friday meeting, saying it would be difficult for him to work if Jenkins and Price wanted him gone.

Price reportedly wanted Sherbet's assistant, Toni Pippins-Poole, to replace him.

On Friday, the election commission appointed Pippins-Poole the interim elections administrator through municipal elections in June.

Sherbet agreed it would have been difficult working with Pippins-Poole until March 1.

County Commissioners are set to meet Tuesday morning and several citizens are expected to show up protesting Sherbet's departure, as they did Friday outside the election commission meeting.

E-mail bwatson@wfaa.com

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