Three years ago, in the summer of 2006, our former and current mayor, Gary Slagel, was forced to resign from the Dallas Regional Mobility Coalition (DRMC) due to allegations of conflicts of interest. At the time, Slagel was simultaneously advocating for the North Texas Tollway Authority while holding a lucrative contract with the entity. Under mounting pressure from both the community and DRMC members, Slagel defiantly resigned his position after several Channel 11 television investigative reports where done showing Slagel's alleged ethical impropriety.
At the same city council work session where Slagel resigned from the DRMC, he also indicated that he would move his company, CapitalSoft, out of a city owned building after allegations were made - again, through television investigative reports - about the impropriety of him officing in a city-owned building. While the evidence appeared to contradict this, Slagel steadfastly claimed that he was guilty of nothing on both accounts. Apparently, others thought differently. Eleven months later, in the spring of 2007, the new city council, viewing these as severe ethical lapses, voted to replace Gary Slagel as mayor with Steve Mitchell. Slagel, then served indistinguishingly as a council member for the next two years, quietly, behind the scenes, undermining Mayor Mitchell at every turn - in fact, some called Slagel the "shadow mayor".
Fast forward to the spring of 2009. After Gary Slagel, Chuck Eisemann, and the Richardson Coalition spend over $70,000 to overturn the council, Slagel is re-elected as mayor by yet another new city council. Feeling quite emboldened, he begins to calculatingly take the additional steps needed to reclaim the spot that he begrudgingly gave up three years earlier. During the discussion on council committee reassignments last night, Slagel made his move. Citing that he "took a two year break", Slagel indicated his intentions to oust former mayor Steve Mitchell from the DRMC position. Mitchell stated that he had an interest in retaining the position and countered by stating that "it wasn't a two year break, it was three years - and it wasn't a break - it was caused by your resignation due to allegations of conflicts of interest". Slagel didn't like this comment at all. He stammered that his "resignation and issues were overblown", that the current co-chair "owns an engineering business", and that he saw no issue with him returning, even if he still has an NTTA contract. What followed was totally bizarre, a sort of "Stepford" wife thing: not a single councilman spoke up to show their displeasure about Slagel's intentions to return, leaving Mitchell as the only one to speak out against Slagel on the issue. With no support and other councilman looking up, down, around, and remaining silent, Mitchell finally - and reluctantly - conceded the position to Slagel.
If Gary Slagel resigned three years ago due to these issues, then why should he be allowed to return to the DRMC now? Hasn't Richardson gotten enough negative publicity due to Slagel? Why didn't any of the other five councilmen (Murphy, Townsend, Omar, and Solomon) not say one word in support of Mitchell's comments? They all know the story. So much for a code of ethics or ethical conduct. It is bad enough for Slagel to have been re-elected as mayor, but to betray public trust AGAIN by putting him back on the DRMC is lunacy.