Sixty days after his voluntarily resignation, the members of the Forney City Council have paid former City Manager Brian Brooks a lump sum payment of $183,702.84 in severance pay.
Even after being supplied substantial proof of Brooks’ unprofessional, unethical and often criminally suspect behavior, Council Member’s Mary Penn, Robbie Powers, Scott Regan and Ray Stephens are once again supporting Brooks to the detriment of the community they swore to serve.
Having managed city hall under a shroud of secrecy, Brian Brooks was the gatekeeper of many politically motivated secrets. Never an elected politician, Brooks played politics throughout his career in Forney and still remains fiercely loyal to former Mayor, Darrell Grooms.
For years, The Post has demanded accountability from the city by obtaining a variety of public records and during the months leading up to Brooks resignation a huge amount of illegalities were confirmed through the accumulation of contracts, emails and text messages.
Several weeks before his resignation, Brooks’ city owned cell phone was confiscated by Mayor Rick Wilson. This cell phone and the text messages retrieved from the phone provided the council with a factual, eye-opening view of exactly how Brooks conducted city business.
Approximately 250 text messages were recovered from Brooks’ cell phone and an exceptionally large amount of these messages were laden with profanity and sexually explicit dialogue.
Several unsuccessful attempts had been made to erase these messages however the messages were retrievable from the city’s cloud sever and shockingly many messages allude to an inappropriate personal relationship between Brooks and Assistant City Manager, Leigh Corson.
On the afternoon of January 19, 2016 in the hours prior to Brooks turning in his Letter of Resignation, Leigh Corson sold Brian Brooks the city owned cell phone he had in his possession.
This cell phone was purchased for Brooks after Mayor Wilson confiscated the phone Brooks had been predominately using. Therefore it was this replacement cell phone which Corson sold to Brooks for $233.33 on the afternoon of the day he resigned.
The transaction receipt obtained through public records is date stamped January 19, 2016 at 2:37 p.m., showing that Corson sold the phone to Brooks prior to him entering into the severance agreement with the council later that same evening.
Corson was not yet acting as Interim City Manager and Brooks had not yet officially handed in his resignation or entered into the Severance Agreement, therefore several council members have interpreted the actions of Brooks and Corson as being merely coincidental.
The Brooks Severance Agreement also clearly states that payment is contingent upon Brooks being cleared of any criminal allegations.
Written by: Denise Bell
Therefore, the voters need know that in early March 2016 Mayor Rick Wilson notified new City Manager Charles Daniels and city attorney Mick McKamie, by email and certified letter, that he believes criminal proceedings should be initiated against Brooks in response to information uncovered during Brooks’ performance review.
In June 2014, the Council was faced with a publicity nightmare, when they were informed by Brian Brooks that a year-long extra marital affair had been transpiring between former Mayor Darren Rozell and former EDC Director Kim Buttrum.
Brooks recommended a cover-up funded with hush money supplied by the taxpayer and Council Member’s Robbie Powers, Mary Penn, Scott Regan, Ray Stephens, Darrell Hobbs and then Mayor Darren Rozell, had absolutely no problem going along with Brooks’ recommendation.
The Council didn't have to publicly reveal the situation. They were not required to vote on it. The decision on how to handle the situation was within the managerial discretion of their City Manager, conveniently making it politically advantageous for them to remain silent.
These Council Member’s and Brooks kept their mouths shut throughout the barrage of bad publicity surrounding Buttram’s pay-off.
Darren Rozell continued on as Forney’s Mayor until the end of his term in office, and the voters didn’t even become suspect until Rozell unexpectedly withdrew his name from the ballot for re-election.
Former EDC Director Kim Buttrum took the taxpayers for approximately $50,000 in severance pay and benefits, signed a confidentiality agreement, and remained married even though the council was reportedly told that a “love match” had occurred between Buttrum and Rozell.
Buttram eventually took a job with the City of Greenville and is now working as the Assistant EDC Director for the City of Mesquite.
Former Mayor Darren Rozell quietly left office, retired from politics and he is now performing regularly at Poor Dave’s Pub in Dallas where he is attempting to establish a career as a singer.
Council Member’s Penn, Powers, Regan, Stephens and Hobbs knew full well that Darren Rozell had likely violated both the City Charter’s definition of moral turpitude, as well as the city’s sexual harassment policy.
Reportedly, their sympathy for Rozell along with their desire to avoid a scandal were reasons adequate enough for them to follow the unethical recommendation of Brian Brooks.
These Council Members have lied by omission to the voters they represent. They stood silent and supportive of Brian Brooks in every bad decision he made, and now they are financially supporting him so that he may pay his new attorney to defend his actions in a court of law, against the very citizens they have been elected to represent.
Surely the voters will hold these politicians accountable on Election Day, if not sooner.
Watch below as former Mayor Darren Rozell announces the resignation of EDC Director Kim Buttrum before endorsing Brian Brooks at the June 3, 2014 council meeting.