The Palmer Post

Post Exclusive | County Commissioner Employee Has Driveway/Road ‘Done’ on Taxpayer Time, Dollars by Joey G. Dauben
May 23, 2010, 8:55 pm
Filed under: County, Ellis County

County/District Attorney Joe Grubbs said there’s nothing wrong about Ellis County Commissioner Ron Brown, R-Red Oak, having surplus asphalt mix delivered by taxpayer-funded equipment using taxpayer-paid Precinct 4 employees on taxpayer-funded county time to a fellow Precinct 4 employee, who is identified in county records as David M. Jeter, who is a “equipment operator” who makes $33,280 in annual base salary ($16/hour), for the purpose of paving Jeter’s driveway and/or road — on a dead-end street, Mustang Road.

Mustang Road is in Precinct 2 Commissioner Bill Dodson’s precinct. Dodson was recently attacked by several Mustang Road residents in the Waxahachie Daily Light for road conditions. Wonder if they know/knew that a neighboring precinct county employee lived on the street, and if so, that his section of the road was gifted a generous contribution of asphalt — paid for by taxpayers, transported by taxpayer-funded county equipment utilizing taxpayer-funded county employees on taxpayer-funded TIME.
Precinct 4, of which Ron Brown has been at the helm since being sworn in on Jan. 1, 1993, has 17 employees, 15 of those full-time, two of those part-time. The annual payroll exceeds $500,000 annually, according to documents and county records The Palmer Post obtained.

The sad part of this is that Brown slipped in a couple of $1 and $2 pay raises for his trusted employees a week after the March 2 primary (he faced two opponents, and beat them both handily), but he pulled this stunt last month (on or about), knowing the scrutiny wouldn’t amount to much since he has no general election opponent on Nov. 2.

Here’s the Open Records Act request I e-mailed to county officials today:

Per the Texas Open Records Act, can I please have the following (mailing information below):

1) E-mail that Heath Sims sent to Carol Bush, Mike Navarro, Johnny Brown and Joe Grubbs within the past two calendar months related to an issue involving apparent/alleged/insinuated incident involving a Precinct 4 employee being awarded a county-funded surplus asphalt “job” at his residence on Mustang Road in Precinct 2, and any responses from those individuals Sims contacted (including, but not limited to, Grubbs, Navarro, Bush, the Tooth Fairy, etc.)

2) Approximate date (that is documented in currently-existing county records, if available) that Precinct 4 employees and equipment were used/utilized in the transport, spreading, dumping of surplus asphalt on the residence drive/road/etc of Precinct 4 employee David M. Jeter;

3) List of any and all check registers, invoice statements or other county record showing payments made for any reason whatsoever within Ron Brown’s term of office (1993-present) to J Brothers Construction and/or any affiliate company/firm/partnership/trust/LLC/etc. linked to, owned by, or a subsidiary of David M. Jeter; please show amounts paid and for what purpose (i.e., “paving,” “gravel,” etc.)

4) List of any and all employees (if it currently exists on any county document or time sheet or call log) who helped dump, move, transport, shovel, dig, or otherwise operate on the project that saw county funded surplus asphalt delivered to and spread on the property or near the property on Mustang Road related to David M. Jeter;

5) Any conflict-of-interest policy manual signed by Jeter, Brown or other Precinct 4 employees for anything related to this project;

6) Approximate cost (if available on county documents/records) of the transporting of the asphalt or the labor or any other costs related to this project — if it exists on pre-existing county paperwork.

7) Request for comment on those Cc:

Despite what Joe Grubbs has said, is there not at least a perception of a conflict of interest, or at least a perception of ethics? Regardless if the asphalt was “surplus,” is there not a fairness in asking why elected officials (or those appointed to work for them) would not question this practice, at least privately?

Lastly, do you think (to those Cc:) that this was wrong?

Joey G. Dauben
P.O. Box 221
Palmer, TX 75152


2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

I have lived in Ellis County the last 16 years & it’s the good ol’ boy we can do what we want mentality. They spray oil on a road & spray enough gravel to pave two roads & the then leave all the loose gravel to fly all over. Sticks to the bottom of your car & all over it. Gets into your tires & driveway & garage & eventually on your shoes & tracked into your house. It causes wrecks. Makes you slide right through stop signs & red lights. The geavel does not stick to the road or do ant good. It’s dangerous & a waste of taxpayer dollars $$. It’s like the Three Stooges running Ellis County. This is what is going on in Preceinct 1 anyway. Did you know if you buy a house that is not in a city like Red Oak etc. it’s just in Ellis County that there are ( NO ) building inspections ? I built 16 years ago & could NOT believe they don’t inspect ANYTHING but do a perk test for septic or at least they claim to ? Standing water ALL over Ellis County. Nothing drains CORRECTLY. They do ( NO ) mesquitoe spraying. NO code enforcement. Dogs run wild. Trash & high grass everywhere. But they want to tax you as if you were living in Highland Park.

Comment by Iwanttomakeadeal

Well it’s June 22nd. & nothing has been done to clean up the MESS. I have left messages with Carol for Dennis Robinson. & I have e-mailed him with pictures & STILL nothing has been done. I can’t mow my own yard without getting pelted with flying gravel when a car drives by & it throws a dust cloud all over you. This is INSANE! If I dumped gravel somewhere like they did I have NO doubt I would be cited for illegal dumping. This is an absolute WASTE of TAXPAYER DOLLARS.

Comment by Iwanttomakeadeal

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