Conroe, February 14 – Corrupt member of the Davenport Ring, JP James Metts, received “The Golden Hammer” Award for hammering the taxpayers at the Montgomery County Commissioners Court on Tuesday, February 13, 2018. Metts received the award for the terrible manner in which he operates – or rather fails to operate – the Precinct 4 Justice of the Peace Court, which has cost Montgomery County taxpayers millions of dollars.
Data from the Texas Office of Court Administration has revealed the enormous amounts of money that Metts and the Davenport Ring have cost Montgomery County taxpayers by forcing taxpayers to suffer the failed collection system of Graves Humphries Stahl law firm and its NetData database. The full Office of Court Administration numbers recently became available to The Golden Hammer through a Texas Open Records Act request.
As the following charts reveal, Metts’ JP4 court and Wayne Mack’s JP1 court have the lowest collection rates for fees and fines in Montgomery County. In comparison, Precinct 3 Justice of the Peace Edie Connelly, who does not use the GHS/NetData collection system, has an enormously higher collection rate and disposes of far more cases than any of the other JP courts.
The entire presentation of the February 13 “The Golden Hammer Award” follows:
“Today’s Golden Hammer Award goes to James Metts, the JP for Precinct 4. [Metts cackles loudly from back of the Commissioners Courtroom.]
“It’s an important issue, because the JP 4 court loses over $271,196.90 in comparison to what it should collect if Metts utilized the collection processes of Precinct 3 Justice of the Peace Edie Connelly.
“Here’s what’s missing from Metts’ JP court operations, even though he should know better:
- Metts does not send collection letters consistently from his JP court within 30 days of adjudication, in violation of Texas law.
- Metts does not have a caller from the court call consistently within 30 days of adjudication, also in violation of Texas law.
- Metts basically uses OmniBase as the sole real collection system. OmniBase is the statewide computer software system that permits all courts to enter their warrants for unpaid fees and fines into the Department of Public Safety database, so that citizens will have to pay those fees and fines if they want to renew their Drivers License or if they are subject to a traffic stop.
- GHS/NetData receives a 30% fee but gives the County government nothing as far as service in return.
- GHS/NetData are an outside collection system that Metts and corrupt local political boss Marc Davenport have foisted onto the County government. It’s a total failure.
- All GHS/NetData does for its 30% fee is send a letter. Any collection success comes entire due to the collection of warrants through the OmniBase system that has nothing to do with GHS/NetData.
- In the four JP courts which use NetData, the public has no ability to look at their files online, which Judge Edie Connelly has noted creates a serious due process problem for all citizens involved in court cases in those four courts.
- Metts’ failure to follow proper collection procedures is a due process issue.
“What’s interesting about the slight improvement from 75% collection in 2016 to 78% collection in 2017 in Metts’ court is that those improvements merely track the higher collections success rate of the OmniBase warrant collection system across the state and have nothing whatsoever to do with GHS/NetData.
“In other words, GHS/NetData contribute nothing to court collections in the four JP courts where Metts and Davenport have forced them to use that system.
“Judge Metts has bragged that he’s responsible for the use of GHS/NetData in all four of the five JP courts. [Metts shouted from back of Commissioners Courtroom.] If that’s the case, then Judge Metts is responsible for the County government and the taxpayers losing $885,114.25 in collections, in comparison to the successfully collection rate in the Precinct 3 JP Court.
“This corruption has got to stop! I congratulated Judge Metts on receiving The Golden Hammer Award.”
Metts shouted, “Me too. I’ll build more signs with it.”
Is that the decorum which Metts encourages in his courtroom on the rare occasions when he holds court?