- Politics and Social Issues»
- Politics & Political Science
South East Bexar County Community Awareness: March 24, 2011: Commissioner Rodriguez's "Inner Circle" Board to Meet
FEBRUARY 22, 2011- Commissioner's Court Meeting
Joe Hearn hired illegally as District Fire Chief
Transcript of Audio tape: Luisa Vargas and volunteer firefighters in reference to Joe Hearn. Nov. 6, 2010.
FF: Firefighter; Vargas- ESD6 Board Treasurer
FF: But you all advertised it in the newspaper though. Cause I really don't read the paper that much anymore.
Vargas: I don't remember doing that.
FF: Because people have asked, where was it posted because I have one guy come up and ask where was this posted because he wanted to apply for it...
Vargas: I don't really think it was put out.
FF: It was a word of mouth type thing?
Vargas: Yeah, in our circle out here.
FF: Oh, I got that, I know how that goes.
Vargas: That's why I asked Sylvia, why was he selected. Why couldn't..
FF: The only thing that upsets me about the whole thing is if they were gonna look for a District Fire Chief, David (South Bexar) knew about it, cause like you said, he wanted to apply for it and got really upset cause he didn't get it.
Vargas: uh, huh.
FF: Just to be fair, that a letter should have been sent to, just like you said, a letter was sent out to the inner circle. That a letter to AtaBexar should have been sent and that hey, whoever has these qualifications, you know if you want to apply for a District Chief position because this is what we're thinking about doing or this is what we're gonna do...
Vargas: Interrupts. I think that the animosity and the way, just think about how we were treated. ok. Wednesday night, would you want to give those people a job? You can not treat people like garbage.
Ms. Mendelsohn chose Joe Hearn from her inner circle for a position that was not posted and not voted on. A violation of the the Texas Open Meetings Act. They did not post the position, prior to his appointment and Ms. Mendelsohn did a televised news report in which she stated that she would be bringing the "idea" to the board, just prior to his appointment. This decision had been made long before his appointment.
Southside ISD files lawsuit- Joe Hearn resigns
When the Southside ISD filed an injunction against the ESD6 and a possible investigation into their hiring practice of the District Fire Chief, Joe Hearn resigns his position. Appointed on Nov. 3, 2010 and resigned on Nov. 10, 2010.
Mr. Hearn made it clear in his resignation that he would not charge the district for any of the time that he had worked with the ESD6 and he would continue on as needed "pro bono". However, ESD6 financial records showed that Mr. Hearn was indeed paid $643.61 on November 18, 2010, for his work as a contract laborer. A request for his "contract" for labor was met with the reply from ESD6 attorney; that in fact there was no contract to be found.
Joe Hearn's history of resignations
LEAVING TOYOTA: Resignation, Aug 25, 2010.
Mr. Hearn, counting on the financial stability of the ESD6 (as he mentioned taking a $12K cut in pay and benefits from Toyota and was seeking better pay), turned in his resignation to Toyota on August 25, 2010, in which he so handsomely berated the Toyota fire department as being sub-par, not only on his behalf, but taking 18 firefighters in the department and including them in his resignation letter. As well as saying that the SES Chief and Asst. Chief "have no business holding the positions they hold for any Fire Department in the Country." Not a very professional thing to do. An interesting item mentioned by Mr. Hearn in his resignation letter was that "he" created ESD6's Standard Operating Procedures manual because they didn't have one. It's apparent that Mr. Hearn had a hand in the ESD6 Standard Operating Guide, months prior to his hiring as District Chief.
September 9, 2010: Last day on paid staff at Sandy Oaks VFD.
Resigns from the Sandy Oaks VFD, stating that if there is anything he can do "as a citizen" please don't hesitate to ask. Asst. Chief Retired.
So, at this point, if Mr. Hearn was no longer with Toyota, a $12K cut in pay not an issue any longer, the issue was now getting any pay at all. The Sandy Oaks VFD pay scale is minimal at best, and yet Mr. Hearn is heavily embroiled in the ESD6 activities such as the development of the community center and guides, which require much time, one can not survive on passion for what they are doing alone. Was the ESD6 paying Mr. Hearn and if so, how much?
Mr. Hearn has shown his loyalty to Ms. Mendelsohn and that he will stoop to the levels that she has to continue their agenda. A request of records lead to the fact that while Mr. Hearn was at Sandy Oaks VFD, he had a key to the office and before he turned in his resignation and left, he pulled his employee file out of the Sandy Oaks VFD office. This says much about his character as well as makes him a criminal, in that he took documents that belonged to the fire department. If he wanted a copy of these documents, he could have requested them, but in taking the entire file, he stole from the department.
2013: Joe Hearn gets the big paid promotion, leaving the ESD6 to become once again the Fire Chief overseeing the ESD2, which is now covering the ESD6 territory; after Ms. Mendelsohn, Mr. Hearn and the ESD6 board finally succeeded in shutting down the ESD6 volunteer fire departments within their district.
Politics before safety...Commissioner Rodriguez's way
Once again, Commissioner Rodriguez is playing politics with the safety and the lives of the South Bexar County Community. Sadly, if this was happening North of 410, this would be all over the media and public outrage would take front and center.
The people of South Bexar County deserve better than this.
Is there an "inner circle" within the ESD6?
Inner Circle comes full circle
The ESD6 "inner" circle board met on March 24, 2011; once again had Mr. Hearn sitting on a board that he was illegally appointed to. Mr. Hearn may well go down in the history of the ESD6 board as the only member to have been appointed to two positions, illegally. Once by Ms. Mendelsohn and once by the County Commissioner's themselves.
Fast forward to 2013 and you find that Joe Hearn has finally secured a Fire Chief position once again. This time with the ESD2. Quickly making recommendation on his "training" which is non existent in the field that he is in. Mr. Hearn in Aug 2013, approved of a building that has been called a "fire hazard" on Pleasanton Rd.; which actually did catch fire and would take a larger number of taxpayer dollars to refurbish. It would seem that while Mr. Hearn was busy approving buildings, he was also spending money that he didn't have to spend, taking funds from the north (ESD2) to give to the south (ESD6) to keep it operating.
He has been relieved of his duties and replaced by an interim fire chief.