UPDATE: Gay Seven Points mayor resigns, says his indictment stems from anti-gay bias

Seven Points Mayor Joe Dobbs, left, and his partner Michael Tayem with one of Dobbs’ supporters following his election last year.

Gay Seven Points Mayor Joe Dobbs has submitted a letter of resignation after being indicted on criminal charges in connection with an alleged incident at the Cedar Creek Lake city’s municipal building on Aug. 16, according to a statement released to Dallas Voice.

Dobbs’ life partner, suspended Seven Points police officer Michael Tayem, relayed a prepared statement from the mayor during a brief telephone interview Friday afternoon. Tayem, who also was indicted in connection with the alleged incident, said the mayor could not provide any additional information until he consults with his attorney.

In the statement, Dobbs attributes his legal problems to “retaliation” and anti-gay discrimination.

“The charges appear to be retaliation in response to a criminal offense I reported,” Dobbs said in the statement. “We think a lot of it is also related to my being gay. We can’t think of any other reason.”

Tayem said Dobbs resigned because he could no longer justify the stress.

“Joe put in a letter of resignation because it is not worth the stress anymore,” Tayem said. “After everything we’ve done, it’s just not worth it anymore.”

—  admin

Gay Seven Points mayor, partner indicted

Seven Points Mayor Joe Dobbs, left, and his partner Michael Tayem with one of Dobbs’ supporters following his election last year.

Charges reportedly stem from altercation at City Hall between Dobbs, Tayem and an investigator for the DA

DAVID WEBB  |  Contributing Writer
editor@dallasvoice.com

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.

—  John Wright

CEDAR CREEK LAKE: Gay Kemp officials leave office; Seven Points council may finally meet

Openly gay Seven Points Mayor John “Joe” Dobbs, left, and his former partner Michael Tayem, right, are shown with a supporter.

Openly gay Kemp Mayor Matt Ganssle, who won the office in the Cedar Creek Lake town two years ago, was defeated by a challenger in a 97 to 26 vote last week. Ganssle’s colleague on the council, openly gay Councilman Jerry Hazelip, did not run for re-election, so he was also replaced by a newcomer.

Gannsle and Hazelip reportedly were both fatigued by the resistance of oldtimers in the community toward any progressive ideas they put forth. Ganssle apparently did not put up any campaign signs or do much else in an attempt to get re-elected.

In Seven Points, openly gay Mayor Joe Dobbs, who was elected one year ago, may finally be able to preside over a functioning city council as newly elected council members take office. For the past year, several incumbent council members, including one who owns the Dairy Queens in both Seven Points and Kemp, refused to attend meetings or to resign after Dobbs’ election. That led to no quorums and no meetings.

Dobbs, who won office by a landslide despite his opponents’ gay-bashing tactics, has run city business mostly on his own for the past year, relying on the advice of the city attorney to keep the city afloat. The city had been nearly paralyzed already by an FBI investigation and felony indictments of a former municipal judge, the former mayor and a former councilman on corruption charges.

—  admin

Must’ve at least been a Freudian slip: Cedar Creek newspaper headline links gay mayor to ‘shack up’

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.

—  admin