Questions had risen regarding expenditures and possible improper relationships between Duncanville Councilmember Johnette Jameson and a law firm that is being considered as the new legal firm representing the city, Brown and Hofmeister LLP.
The questions centered on a mileage reimbursement that had been submitted by Jameson for a seminar that was hosted by Brown and Hofmeister LLP in Richardson. Questions were submitted to all of the Council members regarding this seminar, via their official city e-mail accounts, to ascertain if all of the elected officials had an opportunity to attend. At the time of this writing MyDuncanville.com has only heard back from Jameson, Leslie Thomas, and Scott Cannon.
According to the response from Thomas, she had knowledge of the seminar held on July 29, 2011 by Jameson and that she had received a postcard concerning the event and that she did have the opportunity to attend, but that she and Councilmember Don Freeman attended a workshop conducted by Brown & Hofmeister, LLP for newly elected officials that had been arranged by City Manager Kent Cagle.
Cannon responded that he had no knowledge of the seminar, and that he had not received an invitation concerning the event.
Jameson’s response went into detail concerning the seminar, which was entitled “More Hot Topics for Texas Cities” and covered such topics as the 82nd Legislative Updates, Discrimination or Sound Planning, How to Fix Your City’s Eyesores Through Code Enforcement, Open Records Issues, How to Run A Meeting Standing Still, and others.
According to Jameson, about 200 other people attended the seminar from all over the DFW areas. This included council members, city managers, city employees and other city attorneys.
While these questions were answered, others questions are now being asked regarding other expenditures and Jameson.
Sources confirmed that a resident of Duncanville has filed an ethics violation against Jameson. Specifically Duncanville Code of Ethics Sec2-54. (14) Engage in any conduct damaging to the City and the State of Texas Public Integrity Penal Code (Public Integrity Violation-Theft-Falsifying a Governmental Record. Penal Code Title 7 and 8. According to city staff the matter must be investigated first by the city attorney, and then dependent upon the findings, can be forwarded to the Dallas County District Attorney by the city attorney. In addition, the person filing the violation can take the information to the District Attorney.
Below is the e-mail received from Cindy Jones and links to her documentation.
I am a resident in the City of Duncanville and have been following some current and long-standing issues with our City Council. Several weeks ago I filed an open records request with the City to obtain City Council Travel Expenditures and Mileage Reimbursements from 2008 through 2011, along with any policy changes regarding Council travel.
My intention was to look at overall spending averages, to identify some best practices and find areas of improvement that are more in-line with the requirements of City Staff. Our city is doing well financially but the overall economy is stressed and we should always periodically evaluate practices.
This past week was quite eye opening, I identified possible theft and misuse / abuse of taxpayer money, additional finding include possible ethics violations. Duncanville City Code of Ethics Sec2-54. (14) Engage in any conduct damaging to the City. Other violation: the State of Texas Public Integrity Penal Code (Public Integrity Violation-Theft-Falsifying a Governmental Record. Penal Code Title 7 and 8.)
I feel as a taxpayer that transparency is important, so I utilized my rights. I formally filed a complaint with the City of Duncanville against Council Member Johnette Jameson District 5.
I am contacting you because the public should know about these findings reflecting possible misuse of taxpayer money.
I have included the packets of supporting documentation for your reference. Please feel free to contact me should you have any questions.
MyDuncanville.com will continue to monitor this situation.
The Duncanville City Council will meet this evening for their regular meeting at 7:30PM. You can see the official agenda on the city’s website by clicking here.