Conroe, April 12 – Revealing the complete inability of the Montgomery County Commissioners Court to conduct business openly or in a businesslike manner, the Court held an odd meeting in which they shrouded the search for a new Montgomery County Animal Shelter (MCAS) Director in secrecy. This odd behavior came on the heels of MCAS Director Charles Jackson’s abrupt resignation after Montgomery County Judge Craig Doyal and his “chief of staff” jim fredricks chased Jackson away by accusing him of unsavory conduct with no factual basis whatsoever and thereby violated the County’s Employee Policy Manual.
“Gutmerson”‘s bizarre citizen comment about Director Charles Jackson
The discussion of the Animal Shelter during the Court meeting began in a particularly odd manner. A lady appeared to make a citizen comment about the Shelter, at first would not identify herself, and then mumbled a name sounding like “Tay Gutmerson.” When The Golden Hammer later asked her for her name, she refused to provide it. The young lady is, however, the daughter of the Shelter’s Volunteer Coordinator whom Jackson terminated as an employee and with whom Precinct 3 County Commissioner James Noack had a minor confrontation during the Animal Shelter Workshop on October 5, 2016. The daughter appeared at an open forum during November, 2016, and attempted to criticize Noack, also without identifying herself or her connection to her mother who was an MCAS employee at the time.
“Gutmerson” accused Jackson of “lacking morality and integrity,” of focusing more on the number of animals in the shelter than how to save animal lives, of conducting “illegal euthananization” (sic), of allowing volunteers “to constantly spread disease in the shelter,” and of “allowing volunteers to use county computers” allegedly in violation of County policies.
Doyal shoves Jackson out the door
Jackson has declined to comment, although he has confirmed that he resigned as Animal Shelter Director and that his last day on the job will be April 14, 2017, only 134 days after he began on the job and performed downright miracles at the Animal Shelter. The live release rate for animals coming into the Shelter has exceeded 95%. Employee morale and customer service are skyrocketing. Cleanliness and animal conditions are at an all-time-high.
Nevertheless, Doyal and fredricks decided to take charge when they called Jackson into Doyal’s office for a meeting at 11 a.m. on Friday, March 24, 2017. Doyal and fredricks, who are both far more interested in playing politics than doing right for the County, took matters into their own hands with the ultimate result that they have chased away the Animal Shelter “rock star” Jackson who resigned only four days after their meeting. Doyal and fredricks sat Jackson down and told Jackson that they had received complaints from current and former employees of the Animal Shelter that Jackson made some decisions to terminate certain employees because he is allegedly a “racist,” a “homophobe,” a “bigot,” and someone who discriminates based upon people’s “religious preferences.” Jackson squarely denied the allegations and asked Doyal and fredricks to produce any evidence of such discriminatory conduct by him.
Doyal and fredricks refused to provide any evidence – written or verbal – to Jackson. Doyal and fredricks then asked Jackson whether any “outside source” had caused him to make any “hiring or firing decisions.” Jackson replied “No, sir.” Then Doyal and fredricks further confronted Jackson, “Did Commissioner James Noack influence any of your hiring or firing decisions? Did Noack cause you to discriminate against people?” Jackson again replied, “No, sir, he did not.”
The Golden Hammer has confirmed that there have been no actions taken in the County’s Human Resource’s Department against Jackson nor have there been any official complaints opened against Jackson.
Four days later, Jackson officially announced his resignation as an employee of Montgomery County with his last day on the job to be April 14, 2017.
Jackson is the most popular and successful Animal Shelter Director in Montgomery County government history. Doyal’s hatred of his political nemesis, Commissioner James Noack, obviously drove Doyal off the managerial deep end.
Secret executive session on April 11
Since Doyal has chosen to conduct almost all of Montgomery County’s government in secret, it should be no surprise that he chose to hold an executive session, in secret, to discuss how to hire a new Animal Shelter Director during the April 11 Commissioners Court meeting. The executive session, which included all of the Commissioners Court members and Human Resources Director Dodi Shaw, excluded all of the animal care experts, volunteers, and animal activists who have vast knowledge about the hiring of an appropriate Director to replace Jackson.
After the executive session, neither Doyal nor any other member of the Commissioners Court chose to educate the public what is happening with the Animal Shelter. In a hushed voice that was barely even audible, Doyal instructed Shaw to “readvertise the position for animal shelter director in the salary range we discussed.”
That’s how secret government by an elite works: in secret.