Conroe, October 19 – Building Maintenance Director Paul Case has stored his personal trailer and other personal property in the County government’s storage yard for almost nine (9) years according to five (5) County employees who currently or have previously worked in the County Department. The storage yard, at 19665 Airport Road, Conroe, Texas, is right outside of the office of what is clearly one of the most ethically-challenged County Departments in the Montgomery County government. It suffers from a lack of supervision since the Commissioners Court ceded its duty to oversee and manage the County government to golf-playing County Judge Craig Doyal in January, 2015.
It’s a crime for a public official to obtain a benefit of value by virtue of the public servant’s office or employment under the Texas Penal Code. Storage of a trailer is likely a value in the range of $800 to $1,500 per year which Case takes possibly in violation of Section 39.02 of the Texas Penal Code.
Case has worked closely with Precinct 2 County Commissioner Charlie Riley and his predecessor as Commissioner who is now County Judge Doyal to provide personal plumbing, electrical, and construction services at the Precinct 2 barnyard for Riley’s and Doyal’s personal use and enjoyment and for use in their political campaigns. At one point, Case directed plumbing and electrical crews to install plumbing and electrical lines at Precinct 2 for Riley’s and Doyal’s use.
The Building Maintenance Department faces numerous ethical challenges. As several County employees reported to at least one County Commissioner and the County’s Human Resources Department in June, 2016, the Building Maintenance Department has failed to meet minimally-safe construction standards in several County buildings and has failed to follow licensing requirements of the State of Texas for several trades. Earlier this year, Case ordered two different crews of his employees to tear out asbestos-laden walls in the County Courthouse without adequate protective gear, even though Case himself has gone through asbestos safety training. Case then later worked with Doyal to cover up severe asbestos problems in the Main County Courthouse building from the public.
Nepotism is one of the great problems of Case’s Department. He employs his own son, Craig Case, at a salary in excess of $90,000 per year in a position where the son is merely a part-time welder. While the son’s official employment is shown in County records as the County Engineer’s Office in order to hide the obvious nepotistic relationship of a father directly supervising his son, Craig Case’s County business card shows that he works at the Building Maintenance Department, as this newspaper has previously reported.
The Building Maintenance Department seems to be where many nepotistic jobs fall inside the County government. Bill Meador, the brother of Precinct 1 County Commissioner Mike Meador, works in the Department in a position for which several of its employees have never been able to ascertain Bill Meador’s job duties (if any). The Wright family – father, his wife, and son – all work together in the Building Maintenance Department as well.
Obviously, it’s time for the Commissioners Court to step in and take a hard look at this very important County Department, and probably time for the citizens to do so as well.