A Nasty Race in the Collin County Commissioners Court

Awhile back I told you about a good fight over a commissioner’s seat in Collin County. In this corner is Corbett Howard, the challenger. In the other corner is the incumbent, Commissioner Joe Jaynes. Howard’s people wrote the state AG a letter claiming that Jaynes and the county were doing what they could to avoid complying with an open records request. Well, Howard’s camp eventually got a box full of e-mails written to and from Commissioner Jaynes. And some of those e-mails have found their way to yrs trly. After spending some time cuddling with them, I have some questions for Jaynes:

— In November of 2007, you received a gigantic $10,000 campaign contribution from Jane Willard, of Celina. Isn’t Jane the mother of Brenda Willard Goodell, of the Goodell family? The same Goodells who own land just to the west of the Denton-Collin county line? The same land not far from the county-line-straddling alignment of the Dallas North Tollway extension that you favored? Huh?

— Why have you forwarded spam mail from your office computer to your home computer? This is a small matter. But if you need more spam at home, let me know. I get plenty that I can share.

— This next series of questions concern the November 6 bond election. And they spring from the following e-mail exchange:

From: Phil Yerby [ed: the bond campaign manager]
Sent: Thursday, September 06, 2007 12:12 PM
To: Jerry Hoagland [ed: Precinct 2 Commissioner]; Tom Burke; Joe Jaynes [ed: Precinct 3 Commissioner]
Cc: Phyllis Cole [ed: Precinct 1 Commissioner]; Jack Hatchell [ed: Precinct 4 Commissioner]
Subject: Solicitation Letter

Jerry and Joe, attached is a draft of a letter for the fundraising. I noted in yellow highlight that I would like to have information or verification of what I said was correct. Please review and make any adjustments you see are appropriate. Feel free to make any changes. You might want to change “Collin County Citizens for the Future” (keep in mind I am an engineer with very little imagination).

Joe, I told Jerry last night that you all are confirmed to give a presentation at CEC on September 24th at City Place. It should be well attended because Bill Hale and/or Bob Brown with Dallas TxDOT District are to make a presentation to the group. Please let me know who will be attending from commissioner’s court so we can include you guys in the general meeting notice.

Tom, please review and edit the letter where you feel appropriate and get back any changes. I will incorporate any adjustments that Jerry and Joe have in the final that will be submitted to the committee.

Thanks for the help.

Philip S. Yerby, P.E.
Executive Vice President
Chiang, Patel & Yerby, Inc.

From: Jerry Hoagland
Sent: Sunday, September 09, 2007 4:19 PM
To: Jerry Hoagland
Subject: RE: Solicitation Letter

Phil,

November 6 is the date of the election. Your comment about leveraging $235 million to $470 million is correct. In some cases, Collin County will be managing the road projects and in some cases the cities will be in charge. I like your idea of having a post election party. We don’t have a Treasurer at this time — can you have the checks forwarded to you for the time being? You need to get each commissioners permission to use their name. You have my permission.

Thanks,

Jerry

From: Phil Yerby
Sent: Monday, September 10, 2007 03:01 PM Central Standard Time
To: Joe Jaynes; Phyllis Cole; Jack Hatchell
Cc: Jerry Hoagland
Subject: FW: Solicitation Letter

Joe, Phyllis and Jack,

Attached is a draft solicitation letter for raising money for the bond election. Jerry has given his permission to use his name and would like to have you all included also. I will give you a final copy of the letter prior to being distributed, but would like to have the go ahead to use your names at the bottom of the letter. The letter is pretty much final except the designation of a treasurer……any ideas and address for a treasurer would be appreciated.

Thanks

Philip S. Yerby, P.E.
Executive Vice President
Chiang, Patel & Yerby, Inc.

From: Joe Jaynes
Sent: Monday, September 10, 2007 3:19 PM
To: ‘Phil Yerby’
Subject: RE: Solicitation Letter

Thanks. What about Robbie Robinson?

Thanks,

Joe

— In the first e-mail, I see all four commissioners were included. Why not Judge Keith Self?

— When all four members of the court have an e-mail exchange like this, isn’t that like a meeting? A meeting that should be posted and open to the public?

— Are elected officials supposed to use their county computers to work on a campaign to pass a bond issue?

— When Hoagland asked Yerby, “Can you have the checks forwarded to you for the time being?” was he referring to theoretical checks that would be coming in later? Because you can’t collect money without having a treasurer, right?

— Finally, Robbie Robinson? The Irish drummer?

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Comments

30 responses to “A Nasty Race in the Collin County Commissioners Court”

  1. the amanda says:

    Keith Self isn’t “one of them,” and kicked Ron Harris’s sorry corrupt A$$ out of office, and therefore wouldn’t be on the distribution list… This is business as usual in Collin County. C’mon boys, tell us about your friends and family who magically bought all that land/homes right in the DART path along Hwy 5. It was like they were psychic… Oh, and Phyllis needs to go this time, too. And, Jerry, next time you want “personal development” tapes and CD’s by Tony Robbins and Zig Ziglar, please avail yourself of the public library, and stop turning in reciepts for expenses.

  2. Matt says:

    Doubt it qualifies as an email “walking quorum” since they’re not discussing the bond issue itself (which would probably be subject to TOMA), but just a letter for fundraising.

    Now, whether they’re allowed to discuss fundraising, I have no idea.

  3. KDM says:

    The county commissioners are not allowed to use their county emails to campaign “for” a bond election or for any election as far as that goes. Apparently the commissioners don’t have any respect for the law since they are violating the open meetings act AND campaigning – those are big issues to the ethics commission. Isn’t anyone reporting this stuff to them?

  4. b lynn says:

    Is Joe going to answer your questions? I guess now we know why Joe and the Public Information Officer were so hesitant to respond to that original open records request.

    And, where is The Dallas Morning News on this?

  5. running bear says:

    What about the pronography that Joe Jaynes sent from his work computer to his personal computer. If he is Commissioner for Collin Co. why would he want the Toll Road to go into Denton Co. if he is not in with a lot of the land owners including the Jane Willard bunch. How do you think that Brenda and them get on the McKinney boards??? Brenda is on the CCCC Board…Money does a lot….when you buy your way in.

  6. KDM says:

    This county corruption needs to end once and for all. Joe Jaynes and Phyllis Cole are both up for re-election. It is obvious from the email above that they are both involved in unethical and what appears to be illegal behavior. Is that not enough to make the voters of Collin County realize that they need to be replaced. Seems like to me that Collin County needs to clean house! Did anyone see the story this week on Channel 11 about the travel vouchers and how they spent over $20,000 to travel to Orlando to look at a courthouse and rented luxury cars and ate at swanky restaurants. Just the taxpayers money being wasted.

  7. kickjoeout says:

    Yes I know all about Jaynes and his corrupt way of staying in office. However the press, Dallas Morning News and Mckinney Gazzete all are in Joes hip pocket as is the missy willard who just wrote a letter to the editor today paper gushing what a wonderful fellow joe is with all his help on the roads up to her land.
    The truth never gets into the hands of the public on Jaynes and Cole. Any letters to the editor from persons who know the truth about joe wil never get their letter published.
    The press is also attempting to kill off Judge Self with their weekly sour grape quotes. Just can’t get over his kicking fat boy out.
    Did anyone say that the old time Louisiana theme is now Collin County commissioners back room deals.

  8. kickjoeout says:

    I forgot to mention that Missy Willard gave JOEy boy $10,000 in the 2006 race. Remember that one when the poor fellow who ran against Joey and was a county employee, that is until the day after the race when joey had him fired. Just for bringing out crooked facts such as the SMU law degree paid for joey by the taxpayers and for pointing out that Vendors such as Latamore the concrete king gave joey $5,000.00 and another vendor Rene Bates the vendor who does Collin County auctions of surplus property also gave joey boy $4,500. On and on with vendors kicking in and getting the business from joey boy.
    No wonder he can send out daily re-election mailers and buy hundreds of expensive re-election sign seen on evey cornor.

  9. Lily says:

    Wait…………what’s this about porn being sent from Joe’s county computer? Are you sure? I’ve heard he uses his county computer for his history lessons and his law “side business”. But pornography………….that’s a serious charge.
    Is any news outlet investigating this? They obviously don’t have the guts. It would be an earth-shattering story for some hungry reporter.

  10. Jeff says:

    The Amanda wrote: “This is business as usual in Collin County. C’mon boys, tell us about your friends and family who magically bought all that land/homes right in the DART path along Hwy 5. It was like they were psychic…”

    No, they are definitely not psychic, just practicing the age-old “honest graft” in this book: Plunkitt of Tammany Hall: A Series of Very Plain Talks on Very Practical Politics…http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/5030/

    Pluckitt is quoted as saying, “There’s an honest graft, and I’m an example of how it works. I might sum up the whole thing by sayin‘: ‘I seen my opportunities and I took ’em.'”

    No matter what you call it, it’s still dishonest graft and it has been going on for many years in Collin County–another Tammany Hall. Let’s get Joe Jaynes out of there!

  11. KJO says:

    Since there are thousands of people out there who use the Dallas Morning News Collin County opinions page as their bible, the liberal Metro editors who do not even reside in Collin, gave Jaynes the greatest bull crap write up and ask the Collin voters to put old joe back into office.
    They never check out anything about their choice.
    They just guess that it is too much trouble to investigate anyone like Jaynes.
    Then the sheep public goes along with the DMN since their bible told them so and they vote for him again and again.
    Try to get a letter to the editor against Joe and see where it goes.
    Belo stock is going down the tube and one reason is this kind of stupid opinions pages the put out daily.

  12. KDM says:

    Lily – Yes it is true. He is using his computer for ALL of those things. I had a friend who asked to see the documents – it isn’t pretty. Anyone can get “spam” shall we call it, but to forward porn to his home computer with a teenage daughter in the house is despicable. Shows his true character and it certainly shows that he is using his county office for things other than what they were intended. As for the DMN, they are a disgrace. I heard there is an actual email where they give Joe Jaynes information about Corbett Howard’s campaign. So much for journalistic integrity.

  13. Lily says:

    It sounds as if the citizens of Collin County are paying for luxurious vacations for elected officials and who knows what else. We’re being shafted!
    The media knows what a predator Joe Jaynes is but they continue to ignore the situation – which is typical of them. They have no guts or investigative skills.

  14. KDM says:

    You know the sad part is that they may have the investigative skills, they just choose not to use them – they are all protecting Joe and his cronies. And the taxpayers are paying for it – literally.

  15. Susan Williams says:

    Well, I heard that Jaynes is with the mafia which is of course why the Dallas morning news is too afraid to report these rumors.

    The reason could not be that there is no proof to back these rumors.
    Nah, the mafia story makes more sense to me too.

    Give those of us who are trying to decide who to vote for a break, we are just undecided not brain dead.

    We get it, you are creating smoke hoping to make us think there is a fire, very clever!

  16. Jackson says:

    Smoke & Fire huh? You are either not from Collin County or haven’t been here long… One thing is for sure, if you have followed this race at all you would know that Jayne’s opponent fought the county to get open records released. Jaynes says they have 7000 of his emails and didn’t find a thing. I doubt that Joe is that careful and judging by what I have read here, he hasn’t been careful at all! If you really ARE undecided, maybe you should try to find out what the truth is…

  17. Male Voter says:

    Well according to Joe’s blog the emails that Tim Rogers has are made up. I have commented on Joe’s blog. Let’s see if he answers my questions and posts my comment. I think that a news channel or some newspaper reporter needs to get more of the emails and publish more of them. It is funny that on his blog he does not respond about the issues that Tim brought up. thank you Tim.

  18. Male Voter says:

    Tim,
    Do you have any more emails that you can post on your blog?

  19. DMN says:

    I think the Dallas Morning News has spelled out why they endorse Jaynes and to write it off that Joe has them in his pocket is laughable.

    “…Jaynes is the most accessible full-time elected official in the county.”
    -Dallas Morning News, Feb. 10, 2008
    Dallas Morning News Recommends: Joe Jaynes
    Incumbent’s knowledge and support needed on transportation issue
    12:00 AM CST on Sunday, February 10, 2008
    Over the years, we’ve had some issues with Joe Jaynes, such as two years ago when Collin County Commissioners voted themselves an overly generous pay raise. It was a back-door way to make up for the loss of a longevity bonus that outraged residents forced commissioners to rescind.
    Elections are about choices, however, and Mr. Jaynes has had more highs than lows during the past 12 years representing Precinct 3 on the Collin County Commissioners Court. He’s the better choice over Celina Mayor Corbett Howard in the Republican Party primary contest on March 4. The winner will face Democrat Victor Manuel, who is running unopposed on the Democratic ticket, in the November general election.
    Unlike his opponent, Mr. Jaynes, a member of the Regional Transportation Council, has a realistic forward-looking approach to Collin County’s rapid growth. Last year, he was the driving force during a contentious campaign to pass a $328 million bond issue for transportation, facilities and open spaces; Mr. Howard opposed the bonds that fund partnerships with cities to build roads.
    Mr. Jaynes, 48, also strongly supports expanding rail service to northern Collin County and favors local option elections to give voters a voice in how to pay for it. Mr. Howard, 63, seems more wedded to conservative sound bites than concrete proposals.
    He promises to scrub the budget for waste and to lower the county tax rate, noting that the Celina City Council cut the town’s property tax rate five years consecutively while he has been mayor. Celina taxpayers, however, pay a higher tax rate than almost every other town in Collin County. Its tax rate is 17 percent higher than McKinney’s, 22 percent higher than Allen’s, 37 percent higher than Plano’s and 40 percent higher than Frisco’s. And yet he is running on a low-tax/no-tax theme that offers no solutions for expanding transit or building new roads.
    Mr. Howard, who gets most of his support from out-of-county developers, displays an abrasive, combative style of debate that would be highly divisive and counterproductive on the Commissioners Court. For example, he attacks Mr. Jaynes for teaching classes two nights a week at Collin College, asserting that this is proof that Mr. Jaynes is not a full-time commissioner. Never mind that Mr. Jaynes gave up a full-time position at the college when he was first elected or that the college — and students — rely on part-time professors like Mr. Jaynes to keep soaring costs of education down. His “second” job is admirable, not cause for concern.
    Mr. Jaynes is the most accessible full-time elected official in the county, and he offers the continuity and knowledge on transportation issues this county badly needs right now.
    DMN Suburban Editorial Board
    “In this campaign we are honored to have the endorsement of the Dallas Morning News, Ten Mayors from Precinct 3, the Collin County Deputies Association and the Collin County Association of Realtors. However, our biggest honor would be to have your endorsement as well. We ask for your vote in the Republican Primary. Thank you for allowing me the honor of serving you.”
    Joe (can it be in script and in red like my logo?)

    Keep County Commissioner Joe Jaynes Working For You!
    Early Voting Underway and Election Day is March 4th.

  20. Jackson says:

    Oh look! Joe and his friends found the blog where the truth about Joe is finally being told! Joe, you and your indiscretions are being put out there for everyone to hear about. Voters are sick and tired of your disgusting affairs (figuratively and literally) and of your working for yourself and working against the taxpayers. It is time you go try to support yourself with that little law degree that we paid for from SMU.

  21. KJO says:

    Look at the letters to the editor in the Mckinney and DMN that are for Joey. Phony as Joey himself. The letters are written by Joey and using names such as former mayor Dozier, etc.
    Te reason you can tell they are phony is Joey use of his trademark “go to wwwjoejaynes.com and early voting begins etc. at the end of the letters. Any fool that would end a letter using that http://www.crap would give out the signal it is a phony letter.
    Joey has used this same type letter to editor for all of his elections. At one time he was dumb enough to use the exact same wording text in several letters using big names in Allen and McKinney as the writer.Phony Phony

  22. NP says:

    I went and looked at Joe’s website where he quotes a local congressman – sad part is that Joe is trying to make it look like that congressman supports him, but he doesn’t support Joe. He doesn’t endorse in races and Joe is trying to pull another fast one on the voters. He talks about this negative campaigning but forgets that it is HIS record that is negative. He also forgets that it isn’t slander when there is written proof. Bye-bye Joe. Time for a new commissioner in town.

  23. Lily says:

    The Dallas Morning News has no influence whatsoever on how or for whom I vote. It’s scary to think that people actually vote as dictated by the DMN.
    The news report by Bennett Cunningham of CBS 11 exposing the expensive and unnecessary trips taken by Collin Co. elected officials was admirable. Unfortunately that story is only a very small sample of what is going on with Joe and company.
    I hope Mr. Cunningham continues to expose these frauds.

  24. Voter says:

    Wait…back to the pornography charge. If he was emailing porn, why haven’t we seen the emails? I don’t really care to see the pictures or anything, but thats a pretty serious charge. Where’s the proof?

  25. Peek says:

    Just received a phony mailer from jaynes. He spins his phony tale regarding MUDs. His figures are a laughing matter and shows just how dumb he is. He said it cost the taxpayers 40 million to run a road to the 3,000 homes in the mud. First that 40 mil is just smoke bull crap as the county has not hired more people and bought more equipment to build the road he claims. They just put the same guys working the trucks and graders to do the same work they do each day. Just a diff job location.
    Now to get down to why joe is a joke, if they built 3,000 homes sold price of $150,000 each or more, then the county reaps millions more on taxes yearly from these homes. So what is joe bitching about. Those new taxes coming in from the homes build roads, pay for everyones use of county service.
    Think up something else joe, that one was dumb as a stump.

  26. Howard Geffen says:

    Joe is responsible for the death of my daughter

    October 28, 1995, was the worst day of my life. It was the day my beautiful daughter, Angela, was killed in a car accident while traveling 500 miles to Tennessee.

    There was no alcohol or foul play involved. It was just three young students from Collin County Community College driving all through the night to attend a Civil War battle reenactment when the driver fell asleep and crashed.

    These young college students had been promised by their college history professor, Joe Jaynes, that they would not have to take their final exam if they made the road trip to see the battle reenactment, in which Mr. Jaynes was a participant. My late daughter, who had a learning disability and struggled in school, needed this extra credit to pass Jaynes’ class.

    I felt then, as I do now, that Jaynes was guilty of questionable, unethical and lazy teaching tactics. Why would a college professor offer extra credit to a group of young students with little experience driving that would require them to travel hundreds of miles?

    Jaynes also “sold grades” by asking my daughter to give him cash to donate to a charity in lieu of a quiz grade, and he regularly had students watch movies rather than reading or listening to lectures. He even joked about the growing of marijuana in one of his classes. Selling grades and watching movies in lieu of proper classroom instruction is not the way to prepare our future workforce.

    While I feel his unnecessary assignment was indirectly responsible for the death of my child, it is his actions after this tragedy that most appalled my family. Above all else, I seriously question the man’s character and judgment.

    And this is why I must convey, with strong conviction, that Joe Jaynes lacks the human compassion, integrity and moral fiber to serve as our County Commissioner.

    My family and I neither sought money nor filed suit for this tragic accident. We simply wanted Mr. Jaynes to admit he made a mistake and exercised poor judgment, two things we needed to be able to move on. To this day, my family has never have received this closure. The Collin County Community College administration closed ranks around Mr. Jaynes and lined up their well-connected lawyers. In fact, when we lobbied the college about changing the grading policies, or lack thereof, we were ignored and virtually ushered out of the building, while Joe Jaynes continued his maverick teaching policies.

    During his first campaign for County Commissioner, Joe Jaynes promised that if elected, he would no longer teach classes at the community college. Sadly, he has broken that promise as he still teaches two nights a week while serving as a Commissioner. Isn’t this a conflict of interest?

    Mr. Jaynes in fact has a history of taking advantage of loopholes and skirting ethics. A telling example is when Collin County government started a tuition reimbursement program designed to help county employees who need help with school expenses so they could earn college degrees. Jaynes took advantage of this program to put himself through law school — at taxpayer’s expense. Jaynes has proven again and again his sense of entitlement and lacked any sense of propriety to grab all he could.

    My wife and I do not get involved in campaigns. But in this race we felt it was important for local voters to know of our tragedy and Mr. Jaynes’ appalling explanation for his actions. Every single day we are reminded of the loss of our child and every time we see Joe Jaynes in the newspaper, we are reminded why this man lacks the integrity to serve our community.

    Howard Geffen
    Plano
    _____________________________________________
    Laura Miller’s article on our tragedy is available at http://www.dallasobserver.com. Search for “Joe Jaynes”.

  27. Lily says:

    This story is heartbreaking and these parents should never have had to go through this.
    This highlights Mr. Jaynes poor judgement and his teaching tactics. He makes it very easy for himself and easy for his students by giving away grades. No wonder his students show up at the candidate forums to cheer him on. Now I find they get extra credit to be there.
    Where does it end?

  28. McKinneyTaxPayer says:

    Today was a sad day in hearing of the win of Joe Jaynes. From years of observation of the general rules of thumb in local politics, the rule of, “The individual with the most signs and the biggest war chest is generally the winner in local Collin County elections.” With twelve years of experience in “insider info to friends” and “creating avenues of Collin County developement for his own personal self-interest,” Joe’s so called leadership abilities will cost the taxpayers many more millions of dollars in the future, has it has, in his previous twelve years as a commissioner. As a homeowner in Collin county, I can only hope that the DA’s focus will stay on Mr. Jaynes “backroom deals, with illegal actions on his part violating his community trust, as a commissioner.” Hopefully, these actions will be found and finally pursed by the DA’s office. We can only hope, Joe Jaynes will eventually be removed from office before he can create more harm to this community. Of course, the tax-payers of this county can now be very proud of the fact that tax-payer monies was used in educating this man to the status of an attorney to render him the “sure-footness” of avoiding such legal charges.

  29. McKinneyVoter says:

    This is the second time I have posted a negative comment on Joe Jaynes. I found my negative posting regarding the sad news of his win removed from several sites. The posting dealt with the hope that the DA of Collin County would continue their investigation of “his possible illegal dealings” as our county commissioner. The power of this individual is demonstrated in my posts being removed from these sites, since this suggestion was brought before the public. After forty years of being a strong Republican, I plan to cross party lines and vote for the Dem party and the individual who is running against him….that is how much I think this man is a huge destructive force to the tax-payers of Collin County and needs to be removed from office.

  30. Lily says:

    I happen to agree with McKinney Voter. I will also be voting for Victor Emanuel in November.
    The best thing conservatives of Collin County can do now is volunteer to work in Matt Shaheen’s campaign against Phyllis Cole.
    With our help Matt may be able to unseat her in the runoff March 29.
    I plan to do whatever I can to help him out.