Finally, the Hearing…

hearing_reducedDUNCANVILLE, TX – On Saturday, November 22, 2014 the Duncanville City Council held their public hearing to present their evidence against District 5 Councilwoman Johnette Jameson in regards to the allegations that Jameson had given orders to city employees, a violation of the city charter. Representatives of Councilwoman Jameson were allowed to rebut the evidence and present evidence of no wrong doing. The council then retired into executive session to deliberate, returning to the stage after 45 minutes later and voting 4-2 for the expulsion of Jameson.
Corbet Bryant of Carrington, Coleman, Slomant & Blumenthal, LLP, the hearing administrator, opened the public hearing before the city council and an audience of over 200 Duncanville citizens. He stated that the hearing was not a legal process, and would not adhere to the ‘Rules of Civil Procedure’. He then turned the hearing over to Mayor David Green, who explained the rules of the hearing, and that each side would be given time to present their arguments.
Representative for the city council, Jeremy Fielding of Lynn, Tillotson, Pinker & Cox, opened with a presentation of their evidence, consisting mostly of excerpts from affidavits of Interim City Manager Lynda Humble and former Interim City Manager Greg Contreras. No witnesses were presented by Fielding. The message that Fielding tried to get across to the audience was that city employees would only be safe so long as the current city council headed the city government. It is noteworthy to report that more than 20 percent of the current employees have left their jobs since this investigation began.
Fielding spoke to more to the audience than to the city council, and was interrupted several times by objections from representative for Councilwoman Jameson, Michael Smith, a partner in Bickel & Brewer. Fielding concluded his presentation with a plea to the city council to expel Jameson. Next, Michael Smith spoke the city council, deftly rebutting all the evidence presented by Fielding. He drove home the message that Councilwoman Jameson is an ardent advocate for the taxpayers of her district. He continued that asking the police chief for crime reports for her district, and asking for more trees and more security in parks is what every council member should be doing. He finished by calling for the council to not expel Jameson.
While the audience did not have an opportunity to express their opinions directly, there were several outbursts that vocalized their displeasure. Once, several audience members arose with shouts of ‘liars!’ and ‘Kangaroo court!’ before storming out of the proceedings. Another outburst was sparked when the representative for the council, Jeremy Fielding of Lynn, Tillotson, Pinker & Cox, suggested that Councilwoman Jameson was racist and called for racial profiling at Red Bird Park, a suggestion with which the audience vehemently disagreed.
After both sides had presented, and rebutted, the council went into executive session to debate the 12 counts leveled against Jameson. They returned about 45 minutes later to vote. Each council member first voted guilty or not guilty on each of the counts. Dr. Ron Dotson cast the fewest number of guilty votes, 2 out of 12, while Patrick Harvey cast the most guilty votes, 10 out of 12. The remaining four members, Cliff Boyd, Stan Smith, Steven Rutherford and Mayor David Green cast exactly the same votes, casting 5 guilty votes and 7 not guilty votes. They then voted on expulsion, with Dr Dotson and Cliff Boyd voting no, and the remainder voting to expel. The hearing was then concluded.
“In Ms. Jameson’s view, these proceedings represented a gross abuse of power, taxpayer resources, and the public’s trust,” said William A. Brewer III, partner at Bickel & Brewer Storefront and counsel for Jameson. “The hearing and the decision to ‘remove’ her from a position from which she had already resigned was a farce and a political sideshow.”
The next Duncanville City Council meeting will be held on December 1, 2014.