Charges reportedly stem from altercation at City Hall between Dobbs, Tayem and an investigator for the DA
DAVID WEBB | Contributing Writer
SEVEN POINTS — Gay Mayor Joe Dobbs and his life partner, suspended police officer Michael Tayem, have been indicted by a Henderson County grand jury on criminal charges in connection with an alleged incident at the Seven Points City Hall on Aug. 16.
Charges of assault on a public official, official oppression and interference with public duties were filed against Dobbs, 36, on Aug. 19, and a charge of interference with public duties was filed against Tayem, 29, on the same day, according to Henderson County judicial records.
Assault on a public official is a third-degree felony; official oppression is a class A misdemeanor and interference with public duties is a class B misdemeanor.
Judicial records show warrants for the arrests for Dobbs and Tayem are now closed. District Judge Dan Moore of 173rd District Court set bond for Dobbs at a total of $13,500 for his three charges and $1,000 for Tayem’s one charge, according to published reports.
The charges reportedly stemmed from an altercation Dobbs and Tayem had with an investigator for the Henderson County District Attorney, who was serving a grand jury subpoena in connection with an ongoing investigation of city business being conducted with another law enforcement agency.
Additional charges reportedly may be brought against the Seven Points officials at a later date. The ongoing investigation has focused on allegations that city contracts were negotiated improperly by Dobbs and Tayem, who was in a management position on the police force before his suspension.
The criminal charges follow more than a year of controversy since Dobbs was elected in a landslide. He promised in his campaign to return integrity to the city of Seven Points on Cedar Creek Lake after several high-ranking city officials were indicted and convicted on criminal charges. An FBI investigation led to the prosecution of the former city officials, which included the former mayor, a municipal judge and a city council member.
After his election, Dobbs managed city business on his own for a year after several members of the City Council boycotted meetings, preventing a quorum. The dissenting council members had supported Dobbs’ opponent in the election.
Since Dobbs was elected, the city has seen two police chiefs terminated. One was fired by Dobbs and the other reportedly was asked to resign. The current police chief reportedly was also asked to resign recently and refused.
Dobbs, who is also chief of the city’s volunteer fire department, allegedly tried to pressure Police Chief Curt Koger into resigning because Dobbs was angry about a police report detailing a citizen’s complaint that Tayem had ridden a motorcycle through a neighborhood at a high rate of speed with red lights and a siren sounding, according to the Cedar Creek Pilot.
Dobbs reportedly asked Tayem to join him and help put out a fire.
Tayem was suspended from the police force in May after a citizen filed a complaint claiming that he was abused by the police officer while being jailed. That complaint has also been under investigation by state and federal law enforcement agencies.
Tayem managed Dobbs’ campaign for mayor, calling himself Dobbs’ “bulldog.”
Dobbs said in an interview after his election that although he won the office by a large margin, a small group had tried to use his sexual orientation against him during the campaign. He claimed a former city official called him a “queer bitch” in a public setting.