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Commissioners say they believe racial allegations against DeWitt are true
by Jason Collins
Jun 28, 2010 | 1660 views | 2 2 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Commissioners confirm allegations
Commissioners confirm allegations
Bee County commissioners said Monday that they believe the racial allegations made against Dennis DeWitt, former community affairs director, and placed information as such in his personnel file.

DeWitt retired Thursday afternoon from his position, saying in his retirement letter to County Judge David Silva, “The reason for my retirement is to alleviate the creation of obstacles in my political campaign for commissioner (of) Precinct 2.”

DeWitt won the Republican nomination for commissioner of Precinct 2, defeating incumbent Susan Stasny. He does not have Democratic opponent in November.

Because DeWitt is no longer a county employee, commissioners could take no other action against him.

Commissioner Carlos Salazar Jr. made the motion to sustain, or confirm that they had sufficient, credible proof that the allegations were true and that DeWitt was guilty. Commissioner Eloy Rodriguez offered a second to the motion.

Salazar, in his motion to the court, said, “1. That Dennis DeWitt violated the Bee County code of personnel conduct by failing to ‘respect the dignity of every individual’ with each of the complaints when Mr. DeWitt used the racial slurs ‘wetback and/or Mexican/meskin.’

“2. That Dennis DeWitt violated the Bee County personnel policies by ‘unauthorized use of official information’ and ‘unauthorized or abuse of official authority’ when Mr. DeWitt informed Mr. Gonzales that he owed taxes. The notification of delinquent taxes and the determination of tax payment deadlines are not in the job description of the community affairs director.

“3. That Dennis DeWitt violated the Bee County personnel policies by ‘unauthorized or abuse of official authority’ when Mr. DeWitt repeatedly informed Mr. Gonzales and Mr. Cushing on Jan. 16, 2009, of his status as a deputy and stated that he could arrest them when discussing an unauthorized landfill on Mr. Gonzales’ land after Gonzales and Cushing had removed the debris to a certified landfill prior to the Jan. 16, 2009, meeting in DeWitt’s office and prior to the 30-day deadline to clear the debris stated in DeWitt’s certified letter to Gonzales and Cushing dated Jan. 14, 2009.

“4. That Dennis DeWitt violated the Bee County personnel policies by ‘unauthorized or abuse of official authority’ when Mr. DeWitt subsequently submitted an agenda item dated April 29, 2010, for ‘discussion and action concerning unauthorized landfill and state jail felony dumping, including detailed discussion of complaints, investigation, certified letters and final action’ with copies of pictures dated Jan. 22, 2008, and Dec. 31, 2008, more than a year after the unauthorized landfill site had been properly cleared by Mr. Gonzales and Mr. Cushing in January 2009.”

While all four commissioners, including Stasny, voted in favor of the motion, Judge Silva abstained.

“Mr. DeWitt has retired,” Silva said just prior to the vote. “I understand we have to bring closure to this...

“Maybe we have gone a little too far on this. The court will rule on this, not me.”

With their vote, commissioners authorized that the following be placed in DeWitt’s personnel file with the county: the original complaints against Mr. DeWitt by Amanda Gonzales and her sister Lori Keller and by Brian Cushing and his business partner, Willie Gonzales; a copy of the commissioners court motion to sustain the issued of the previous motion; copies of letters of apology to each of the complainants from the commissioners court.

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benpuentejr
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June 30, 2010
Great comment, I feel the same way. I am sure at one time or another everyone has violated the code of conduct. Those comments should not even bother a true citizen of this country. We were all born here right? Why do people have to raise a stink about it. The truth is that most of you so called "Mexicans" are 2nd or even 3rd generation Americans!! Are we "wetbacks" no!!! We are not even "Mexicans" we were born in the USA, not Mexico. Stop being so sensitive people. We bleed red, white and blue!!!!! Can't wait till you get into office Mr. DeWitt. Some of us might be right behind you tring to make some long overdue changes.

JerryMouse
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June 30, 2010
Does this mean we are done with this foolishness now? Can we finally get on with the business of running the county, or does Susan Stasny have some other tactic she wants to try in another attempt to nullify a legal election?

Don't let the commissioners' court fool you. This process has never been about whether or not Dewitt called someone a racist name. It is an attempt to send a message by those that hope to maintain the status quo in Bee County. Hopefully, Mr. Dewitt has the integrity not to roll over and does what we have elected him to do.