The Woodlands, February 5 – Popular Precinct 3 Montgomery County Commissioner James Noack endorsed Matthew Beasley formally for Precinct 3 Justice of the Peace. Beasley is running for the Justice Court position from which the highly successful and efficient Judge Edie Connelly is retiring after 32 years of continuous service.
Beasley has worked for Noack’s Commissioner’s Precinct as his operations manager supervising and planning road and bridge work and now holds the formal title of Chief of Staff. Beasley graduated in 2002 from The Woodlands High School. Beasley received his Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice Administration from Tarleton State University. Beasley started his career with The Woodlands Fire Department as a Dispatcher. While working as a Dispatcher, he attended The University of Houston – Downtown Police Academy. After graduating with honors from the Academy, former Precinct 3 Constable Tim Holifield hired Beasley as a Deputy. Beasley holds a Master Peace Officer Certification from the Texas Commissioner of Law Enforcement. Years later, Beasley transferred to the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office and ended his full-time law enforcement career as a Detective.
County Commissioner of Precinct 3, James Noack, hired Beasley as Project Manager after the two got to know each other while Noack was running for office in 2012. Noack later promoted Beasley to his current position of Chief of Staff. Beasley is a Certified Public Manager for the State of Texas through Texas State University’s program in that field. Beasley is a Past Vice President of the Grogans Mill Village Association, an Advisory Member to the Blue Bow Foundation, and an active member in Scottish Rite charities.
Beasley lives in The Woodlands with his wife, Kelli, their two sons, Brooks and Brett, and daughter, Brinley. They’re members of First Baptist Church in The Woodlands.
In the Precinct 3 Justice of the Peace contest, there are two major issues where Beasley has taken vastly different positions from his rivals: continuity and collections.
Judge Connelly run a strikingly efficient Court. Her docket includes Class C misdemeanor criminal cases, civil cases which include evictions, and some juvenile cases. Additionally, Connelly must attend death scenes since the County does not yet have an independent medical examiner.
During 2017, Connelly declared a cause of death at over 700 death scenes. She disposed of more than 17,000 cases and brought a net of more than $2,000,000 in fees and fines over and above the amount of her budget.
Connelly has a reputation for treating litigants well and has maintained a largely happy and stable office staff. Her one Justice Court disposes of far more cases than the next two largest JP courts in Montgomery County combined. Connelly’s net collections (amount collected in fees and fines minus budget) greatly exceed all four of the other JP courts combined in Montgomery County.
The excellence of Connelly’s Justice Court is not something the citizens of Precinct 3 would want to lose. Therefore, it’s important to examine which of the three JP candidates would continue Connelly’s practices.
One of the three candidates actually announced his candidacy before Connelly’s retirement announcement and suggested that he chose to ran to change her court. He had consulted with two of the other JPs in Montgomery County who are part of the corrupt Davenport Ring, the corrupt group of politicians who take their direction from corrupt local political boss Marc Davenport. The Davenport Ring has craved Connelly’s seat for many years, because the amount of money flowing through her court is so incredibly high.
Beasley announced his candidacy only after Connelly announced her retirement and immediately met with Connelly and her Justice Court staff to learn their procedures and assure the citizens of south Montgomery County that Beasley would continue the excellence of that office. Beasley has made clear that he is not in any manner affiliated with the Davenport Ring and, in fact, avoids them.
FISCAL YEAR 2017
The Golden Hammer has previously reported the problems revealed from the Fiscal Year 2016 statistics for Montgomery County Justice Courts. The Texas Office of Court Administration report now shows how terrible the Fiscal Year 2017 collections continue to be for JP James Metts, Wayne Mack, and Precinct 5 JP Matt Masden all of whom utilize the GHS/NetData collection process rather than utilizing the in-house Montgomery County government collection system which County Clerk Mark Turnbull and Collections Director Clegg Dewalt established. GHS/NetData is an outside law firm that does almost nothing to collect the fees and fines and depends largely on collection of them through warrants and through the Department of Public Safety’s statewide collection process that requires payment of fines before renewal of drivers licenses.
Mack’s and Metts’ fees and fines collection percentages are, by far, the worst of the five JP courts at 76% and 78%, respectively. Judge Edie Connelly’s Precinct 3 Justice Court, which utilizes the County collections system rather than GHS/NetData has a 96% collection rate in comparison. Precinct 2 JP Trey Spikes collects 83% of his fines and fees assessed, while Precinct 5 JP Masden collects only 81%.
The net collections per case are even more strike when one compares Connelly’s court to the other four: Connelly’s net collections were case are $124.81, Spikes $109.65, Masden $40.41, Metts $.37.31, and Mack $36.50. The failure of Metts and Mack to collect at rates comparable to Connelly’s collection percentage rate is costing Montgomery County taxpayers millions of dollars each year.
Unquestionably, Metts runs the least efficient JP court of the five, although Mack gives him a close contest.
Beasley has assured the public that he will continue to utilize the County government in-house collection system which has been so successful compared to the Davenport Ring’s preferred outside vendor.