A Cedar Creek Lake newspaper headline accompanying a story quoting gay Seven Points Mayor Joe Dobbs caused just about everybody’s jaw to drop recently.
The Cedar Creek Pilot headline read, “Seven Points Police Department has shack up.” Absolutely no one in the small community about 60 miles southeast of Dallas believes that the headline on the story was a mere mistake. At the very least, it’s being viewed as a Freudian slip, if not an outright attack on the mayor and his life partner, who is a Seven Points police officer.
In the story the mayor was interviewed about four vacant positions on the police force. Dobbs’ partner, Michael Tayem, who is currently on administrative leave, is a subject of the story. A complaint against Tayem is reportedly under investigation by outside law enforcement agencies.
The newspaper’s Web site carried the same story with the headline, “Seven Points Police Department has shake up.” An e-mail to the publisher of the Athens Daily Review, who supervises the Cedar Creek Pilot’s publication, failed to gain a response about the headline. No correction of the headline was observed in the next edition of the weekly newspaper.
The headline is obviously another pain in the posterior for Dobbs, who was elected mayor by a wide margin about a year ago amid controversy about his sexual orientation and public outrage about alleged corruption by former city officials. A political enemy reportedly called him a “queer bitch” in a public meeting prior to his election.
Dobbs’ tenure as mayor has been a stormy one, and he has largely run the city by himself. The City Council has consistently failed to hold regular meetings because of boycotts by council members who supported another candidate for mayor.
Dobbs’ critics have accused him of being a dictator and operating the city illegally. By relying on advice from the city attorney, Dobbs said he has been able to keep the city operating during a perilous time. Several city officials — including the former mayor, a former municipal judge and a former city councilman — were investigated by the FBI and indicted on corruption charges. There have been a few guilty pleas, and some legal proceedings are still pending.
“I inherited a mess,” Dobbs said. “We’ve been trying to get everything straightened out.”
Dobbs has agreed to sit down and discuss his first year in office after the city elects new council members in May, and the City Council begins holding regular meetings again.
“I think we are going to get some good people to serve on the council,” Dobbs said.
As far as the headline is concerned, Dobbs said he called the reporter who wrote the story and told him he planned to send it to Jay Leno and The Tonight Show. Actually, Leno might be getting a lot of copies of that front page headline because several members of the community have said they would like to see it aired there.