Last night an email went out from Lisa Chambers, the now former director of the county’s Homeland Security and Emergency Management office (HSEM). The note was sent to several of the external offices with which HSEM works. It read:
It is with great sadness that I inform you I will no longer be working with Dallas County. I don’t want to get into any details but let’s just say a parting of ways.
I have learned such a great deal from each and every one of you over this past year and a half all most! You have taught me the principals behind what you do and I have been extremely impressed by all. And, I have made friends for life who I cherish. I will very much miss our collaboration and wish everyone well on the mission. I ask that you work closely with whomever the county puts in place.
Again, an absolute pleasure and thanks for helping me learn along the way.
One wonders if Chambers is feeling the same sadness that Bruce Sherbet once felt. I interviewed Chambers back in January and found her to be engaging and intelligent. I’ve reached out to her and to Maria Arita, the county’s public information officer, to find out what happened. I hope to have more information to share shortly.
Update: Here’s the official statement from County Judge Cay Jenkins. I spoke with Arita, but she said she could not legally offer anything more specific than what the judge has said. In short: Jenkins says Chambers was fired for poor job performance, and Dallas County wasn’t safe as long as she was in her position. The official release:
County Judge Clay Jenkins has made the determination to remove Lisa Chambers from her post as Director of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEM). Judge Jenkins said the dismissal is effective immediately and added, “As the elected official in charge of Homeland Security and Emergency Management for Dallas County, I have a duty to put the safety of the people of this County first.
“I made the decision to terminate Ms. Chamber’s employment relationship with Dallas County as Director of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEM) and appoint Scott Greeson as interim director.
“The decision was made after interviews with HSEM staff, a review of County records and other information surrounding performance issues. Meetings have been had with Ms. Chambers since July but the situation did not improve.
“The decision was mine alone. I did not consult with any Commissioner on my decision nor share my decision with any of them prior to her termination. Scott Greeson is currently the Director of Planning for Dallas County HSEM. He will continue in that capacity as well as serve as Interim Director.”