The typically quiet board meetings at the Tarrant Regional Water District took a loud and rowdy turn on Tuesday morning. A standing-room-only crowd, including some carrying protest signs, heckled board members throughout the two-hour special meeting. The board was debating whether to censure fellow board member Mary Kelleher. A censure is a public reprimand with no penalties or legal ramifications.
Board President Vic Henderson introduced the motion, linking Kelleher to several alleged policy violations and ethical lapses. He accused her of not reporting in-kind donations from Dallas hotelier Monty Bennett, who has wrangled with the water district for three years to prevent a water pipeline from crossing his East Texas ranch. And he complained that Kelleher misrepresented the water district’s stance on a water management plan at a recent Fort Worth City Council session.
Kelleher then leveled a symbolic fire hose at her fellow directors and water district President Jim Oliver. She said her supporters are fed up with the “cronyism, nepotism, corruption, and mismanagement that have plagued the water district for years.”