Gay constable has been asked to attend Commissioners Court meeting, may be asked to post higher surety bond
An investigative report on alleged wrongdoing by gay Constable Mike Dupree is complete and will be presented to the Dallas County Commissioners Court on Tuesday, June 26, according to county officials.
Allen Clemson, court administrator, said the constable has been asked to attend the court’s meeting where the report will likely be presented in executive session. The report, which was scheduled for delivery to county officials late this week, will be presented to the court by Bob Schell, an attorney for Dallas County, he said.
Commissioner Mayfield, who reportedly has already received a verbal briefing on the report from Schell, told The Dallas Morning News that the report would sustain the allegations against the constable.
Dupree has claimed that Mayfield, who is a conservative Republican, is leading an effort to remove him from office. Mayfield laughed at the allegation in a previous interview and denied it.
The personnel investigation, which was sparked by complaints of sexual harassment by several male employees, was conducted by an outside investigator, retired Judge Maryellen Hicks, of Fort Worth. As a result of the complaints, Dupree has also been investigated by the Texas Attorney General’s Office and faces a hearing on June 28 to determine whether he should be removed from office.
Clemson said he was unsure if the report would be released to the public at the meeting.
“I don’t know the protocol for its release because it is an investigation of personnel issues,” Clemson said. “I’m not real sure how that is going to be handled. I don’t know if there will be a public presentation of it or not.”
Clemson said that depending on the results of the investigation, the constable may be asked to increase the bond that elected officials are required to post in connection with holding office.
“It’s very possible that based on the findings in the report and the advice they will receive from legal counsel that they may request additional surety,” Clemson said. “They may ask him to be more aware of his actions in compliance with state law and county policy.”
Dupree said in a telephone interview that in his last discussion with Judge Hicks she seemed to believe his assertion that he was being framed by employees who were angry with him for ordering them to quit working part-time jobs at strip clubs and for disciplining them for infractions.
“Once we laid out where disciplinary actions and transfers had [previously] been done to employees that filed against me, her statement to my attorney and me was, “‘Now, I see what’s going on,'” Dupree said. “She said, “‘I kind of suspected this, but now I know.'”
Dupree said he hopes the results of the report will be good news for him and help put an end to the controversy that has plagued him for the last few months.
Dupree said he has already posted the maximum bond of $1,500 that is required by law for a constable, and does not think that the court can legally require a larger bond.
“It’s going to be interesting to see what they do,” Dupree said. “My attorney said he doesn’t see how they can do that.”
Dupree said that he believes he is also the victim of a politically-motivated attack that has led to numerous false allegations being made against him.
“This has become personal to those people down there,” Dupree said. “It’s a political witch hunt is what it is.”
Dupree said he has not heard from the Texas Attorney’s General’s Office about the status of that investigation. The constable said he is uncertain what the future holds for him as regards the legal actions under way against him.
“You can speculate, you can wish and you can hope,” Dupree said. “But until it happens it’s not for certain.”
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition, June 22, 2007.