Image: Artist’s rendering of Human Resources Department Conference Room, Sadler Administration Building, September 26, 2017, meeting between Assistant Human Resources Director Kathy Flowers, Director Dodi Shaw, County Treasurer Stephanne Davenport, and County Judge Craig Doyal’s daughter, with artist rendering of exact moment when Davenport handed Personal Description Questionnaire, in which Davenport proposed to promote Judge Doyal’s daughter to the position of Assistant County Treasurer with a substantial raise.
Conroe, June 5 – Montgomery County Treasurer Stephanne Davenport lied to the Commissioners Court and to the public on at least two counts with respect to her “reorganization” of her 6-person County Department which the Commissioners Court approved on a 3 to 1 vote (Noack absent) on March 14, 2017.
After Montgomery County Human Resources (HR) Director Dodi Shaw finally broke her silence and spoke with The Golden Hammer, Montgomery County’s leading daily newspaper this past Friday for the first time, this newspaper has confirmed that County Treasurer Stephanne Davenport, who is also the wife of controversial political consultant Marc Davenport, lied (1) when she told the Commissioners Court on March 14, 2017, that someone in her Treasurer’s department had made a “mistake” in preparing a Personnel Description Questionnaire (PDQ) showing that the County Judge’s daughter would receive a substantial promotion to Assistant County Treasurer with a substantial raise as part of the “reorganization,” and (2) when Davenport repeatedly told numerous citizens who asked that promoting the County Judge’s daughter was never part of the proposed reorganization.
September 26, 2016, meeting between Davenport, the HR directors, and the County Judge’s daughter
On September 26, 2016, Davenport brought the County Judge’s daughter, who is a payroll assistant in her department, to a meeting with HR Director Dodi Shaw and HR Assistant Director Kathy Flowers in the conference room of the HR Department. Davenport requested the meeting to discuss a proposed “reorganization” of the 6-person County Treasurer’s Department.
Shaw and Flowers have confirmed precisely where each of the meeting participants sat during the meeting and appear to have a vivid recollection of the events which transpired. Flowers and Shaw have explained that they sat on the north side of the conference table with Davenport and Judge Doyal’s daughter on the south side.
The meeting began with Davenport trying to seek assurance, wrongfully, that “all conversations within this room [would be] kept confidential” as Davenport herself admitted in a letter she wrote to jim fredricks, Doyal’s “chief of staff” on January 9, 2017. The State of Texas has a policy of “open government” and “transparency.” Davenport’s attempt at secrecy started the meeting badly. In her January 9, 2017, memorandum, Davenport admitted that “I presented Dodi [Shaw, HR Director] with PDQs for 6 full-time positions and 1 part-time position.” Shaw, in her February 13, 2017, letter rebutting several accusations Davenport made against her, agreed with that portion of Davenport’s description of the meeting.
But where the events got a bit hazy was in the origin of the PDQs. Davenport has refused to disclose who actually prepared the PDQs.
Since Shaw and Flowers have now disclosed that Davenport physically handed the PDQs to Flowers across the conference room table during the September 26 meeting, it’s quite difficult for Davenport not to claim authorship or for Davenport to attempt to shift the blame for the content of the PDQs to someone else in her Treasurer’s Department or otherwise.
The September 6 PDQ stated it was “PREPARED BY STEPHANNE DAVENPORT, MONTGOMERY COUNTY TREASURER.” The September 6 PDQ proposed a promotion of County Judge Craig Doyal’s daughter to the position of “ASSISTANT COUNTY TREASURER.” There’s no subtlety about that.
Since we now know that Davenport physically handed the PDQs to Flowers at the beginning of the meeting and the first page of the PDQs contained those statements about their preparation and the promotion for Doyal’s daughter, it’s all now very clear.
Autumn 2016 machinations
In an exclusive interview with The Golden Hammer, Precinct 3 County Commissioner James Noack explained that “During a break in a Tuesday Commissioners Court meeting in late September or early October, 2016, Judge Doyal asked me whether I’d support a promotion of his daughter Lindsey Doyal to the position of County Treasurer. I told him that he’d have to explain that rationale for that promotion to the entire Commissioners Court before I decided anything like that.”
The Publisher of The Golden Hammer received more than two dozen tips during October and November, 2016, from multiple County employees that Davenport intended to promote the County Judge’s daughter as part of her departmental “reorganization.” When the Publisher asked Davenport and her husband, they both denied that there was any proposal to promote the Judge’s daughter. (Of course, during that time frame, The Golden Hammer did not yet exist and the Publisher hadn’t seen the actual September 26 PDQs.)
Both Davenports lied about whether a proposal to promote Lindsey Doyal was on the table.
March 14, 2017, Commissioners Court meeting
During her fiery presentation to the Commissioners Court, on March 14, 2017, which she read entirely from a prepared statement, Stephanne Davenport accused Shaw and the entire HR Department of a “huge lack of integrity.” Davenport then proceeded to tell the shocked room full of people that she does not “exploit” or “magnify” mistakes. Davenport told the Commissioners Court that the draft PDQs were “mistakes” but she refused to identify who drafted the document, which states “PREPARED BY STEPHANNE DAVENPORT” which she physically handed to Flowers during the September 26 meeting. Davenport told the Commissioners Court that she refused to disclose the document author because “mistakes are not exploited or magnified in my Department.”
Stephanne Davenport, County Judge Doyal, and Doyal’s daughter are close friends. Davenport and Doyal’s daughter have traveled together and gone on vacation together. Doyal contributes substantial funds to Davenport’s political campaigns. Doyal paid Marc Davenport $5,000 as a fee to represent Doyal in negotiations for a November 2015 road bond referendum.
In an exclusive interview with The Golden Hammer on February 19, 2017, Davenport stated, “By definition, nepotism is an abuse of power. Nepotism does not occur in my department. Yes, I house the daughter of the County Judge. However, the County Judge does not interfere with the day to day operations of my employees.”
The Davenport toadies
In a series of threats against his and his wife’s perceived political enemies, local political consultant Marc Davenport threatened Montgomery County Judge Craig Doyal during a telephone call on the morning of Friday, May 26, 2017, that Doyal couldn’t continue to be the friend of Conroe City Councilman Duane Ham, or Davenport would order Davenport’s political consultant clients not to support Doyal in Doyal’s re-election bid for County Judge in 2018.
Later that day, Doyal informed Ham, his long time political ally who formed the Texas Conservative Tea Party Coalition in 2014 which was instrumental in Doyal’s electoral victory, that Doyal could not attend Ham’s upcoming political fundraiser on Thursday, June 1, for fear of reprisal from the Davenports and Marc Davenport’s political consulting clients, several of whom are law enforcement leaders.
Doyal attended the Ham fundraiser after The Golden Hammer broke the story about the Davenport threat against Doyal. (“Conroe City Councilman Duane Ham: ‘The Davenports’ threats against County Judge Craig Doyal are an insult to the law enforcement community and the citizens (The Davenports, Part 1),” The Golden Hammer, May 31, 2017.)
Neither of the Davenports nor any of their clients – 0ther than Doyal – attended Ham’s fundraiser.