Conroe, March 31 – It’s been a terrible week for the Montgomery County government. Most of the setbacks came at the hands of one Craig Doyal, Montgomery County Judge.
Late last weekend, our community learned of the threatening text message that some elected official, who is an ally of Doyal, sent to an employee, Precinct 4 Administrator Marie Moore, a member of Doyal’s “Hit List.” The text message sent to Moore on April 8, 2014, said, “You need to give your heart to Jesus because the rest of you belongs to us.” The elected official, the identity of whom Moore has refused to identify, was referring to the fact that Moore supported former County employee Mark Bosma against Doyal in the Republican Runoff Election for County Judge in 2014. While the blog that attempts to compete with The Golden Hammer refused to print the text message or disclose that important story to the reading public, The Golden Hammer provided the story in full.
Sadly, The Golden Hammer asked for spiritual leadership from men and women of faith and from elected officials of faith to condemn the terrible text message sent to Moore and to bring spiritual healing to this community. The response? Silence and inaction.
On Friday, March 24, Doyal and his “chief of staff” jim fredricks summoned superstar Animal Shelter Director Charles W. Jackson to Doyal’s office in Conroe for a secret meeting that clearly should have been conducted by the Human Resources Department rather than the hyper political Doyal. In the meeting, Doyal and fredricks confronted Jackson with accusations that he allegedly is a “bigot,” a “homophobe,” and a “racist.” When Jackson denied the allegations and asked them for evidence, they provided none but then attempted to blame Precinct 3 County Commissioner for Jackson’s hiring and firing decisions. Jackson also denied that accusation, which revealed the true purpose of Doyal’s and fredricks’ interference with the County Human Resources Department’s proper functions.
Doyal and fredricks didn’t tell anyone about what happened on Friday. They kept it secret. What shocked them and everyone else, however, was that they tipped Jackson towards resigning as the Director of the Animal Shelter on Wednesday, March 29, 2017, to accept a different job. Jackson had to look out for himself and his family and clearly chose to be as far away as possible from the toxic job environment that Doyal has draped over the Montgomery County government.
On Tuesday, March 28, the County Commissioners Court voted 2 to 3 to reject the proposal of Commissioner Noack to put the management, operation, and oversight of the Montgomery County government back under the entire Commissioners Court, as Article V, Section 18, of the Texas Constitution mandates. At this point, Doyal has prohibited County Departments from communicating with County Commissioners except in very limited circumstances. Doyal has implemented a “lock jaw” policy prohibiting County employees from communicating with Commissioners or members of the public.
Of course, on Wednesday, March 29, 2017, Doyal began his work to implement that “lockjaw” policy statewide by paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to hired-gun attorneys to attempt to convince Visiting District Judge Randy Clapp to declare an important provision of the Texas Open Meetings Act unconstitutional. Doyal’s methodology only works in secret, behind closed doors. It’s worth it to him and to the multi-million dollar vendors who support Doyal and his Precinct 2 Commissioner Charlie Riley in their efforts to shovel the money of Montgomery County taxpayers into their large pockets.
On March 29, Jackson wrote a brief memo to Noack in which he stated that Doyal and fredricks “…asked if you, Commissioner Noack, had ever directed me to fire anyone at the shelter. I emphatically told them that you have never asked me to hire or fire anyone. I explained that not a single Commissioner has ever asked me to hire or fire anyone…I was just asked if you specifically instructed me to fire people at the shelter. I found this line of questioning odd because they only used your name and didn’t mention another Commissioner.”
Four confidential sources inside the MOCO government have confirmed that Jackson was coerced into attending an exit interview during the morning of March 30, 2017, with fredricks, Assistant County Attorney B.D. Griffin, and Human Resources Director Dodi Shaw. During that meeting fredricks strongly suggested to Jackson that Jackson should sign a statement that the confrontational meeting Jackson had last week with Doyal and Fredricks did not contribute to his decision to resign.
Meanwhile, nothing has occurred to prevent Doyal or fredricks from interfering in the Human Resources Department’s functions again. In an effort to foist Doyal’s daughter Lindsey Doyal into the position of Assistant County Treasurer despite nepotism concerns, Doyal and fredricks deeply interfered with the Human Resources Department’s functions in those matters and took actions which Human Resources Director Dodi Shaw, another member of Doyal’s “Hit List,” perceived as clearly threatening towards her and her career.
The simple “cure” is to put the management and operations of the County government squarely back under the entire Commissioners Court where our Founding Fathers of Texas mandated that they should be.
Of course, at this point, Doyal wants to conduct a heist of the Texas Open Meetings Act, so it should be no surprise that he wants to set aside the most basic of provisions in our beloved Texas Constitution as well.