Conroe, January 6 – Precinct 4 Montgomery County Commissioner James Metts made clear that he’s a liberal, pro-Big Government activist immediately after he took the Oath of Office on January 1, 2019. He also made clear that he doesn’t understand much about the American system of government.
Privately, Metts has made clear to his Precinct 4 employees during the past four days that he’s got no intention whatsoever of working with people who don’t live in his Commissioners Precinct. That’s his choice, but, of course, it’s sad for East Montgomery County that it will try to make itself an island unto itself under Metts, who won’t be very good for community growth or improvements.
During Metts’ tenure as a JP, he treated the County government as a personal tool for advancing her personal business interests without much care for his constituents. Apparently, Metts felt the need to explain to Montgomery County citizens in general that he wasn’t against all of them, but Metts’ explanation made the situation even worse.
Metts intends to help the government, but not the citizens, as a Commissioner
Initially, during his first speech as a County Commissioner, Metts told the audience at the Lone Star Convention Center that “I’m aware County Departments have needs and I’ll work with you to fulfill them.”
Clearly, Metts’ focus is not on helping the citizens of Precinct 4 or of Montgomery County. Rather, his focus is and has always been on helping the County government grow larger in order to aid the personal interests of his family and friends and his logging business, which has benefitted enormously from Metts’ government connections. (Metts’ logging business received a multimillion contract for the TX 249 Tollway, so it’s no surprise that he’s been a giant supporter of tollroads.)
None of Metts’ remarks after he took the Oath of Office concerned his interest, if any, in helping the citizens as a County Commissioner. Rather, Metts merely wants to help the government, which has, of course, helped Metts directly and funneled millions of dollars to his family and friends.
Misunderstanding from where his “power” comes
Metts’ focus as a JP was always on his “power.” On January 1, 2019, he made clear that he believes he is very powerful. Metts also made clear that he has no understanding from whence his power, if any, came.
There’s a document Metts should consider reading, entitled “The Declaration of Independence” and dated July 14, 1776. In the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence, the Second Continental Congress declared:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. – – That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,…”
Metts obviously felt moved when he took the Oath of Office to become a County Commissioner. He mentioned that, despite “all of the power the State of Texas bestowed on me as a Justice of the Peace, there are some things I couldn’t do,” such as saving the health and life of a young girl facing traumatic injuries to her internal organs.
The freshman Commissioner obviously doesn’t understand from where his “power” derives. In the American and Texas systems of government, governmental power derives from the people. The State of Texas never bestowed any power on Metts. In the American view of government, any elected servant has derived his “just powers” from the consent of the governed, the citizens.
It’s possible that Metts’ actions as a JP have confused him. “Just powers” are those within the lawful powers which the citizens have bestowed. Instead, however, Metts has a JP from 2003 to 2018:
- Filed a lawsuit in April, 2013, where he acted as the plaintiff, the plaintiff’s lawyer (without a license), and the judge in the same case. He sued Montgomery County government Information Technology Director Marshall Shirley. Montgomery County Attorney told Shirley to ignore the lawsuit, since Metts’ actions were wholly unlawful and outside of his “just powers.”
- Threated Delonna Snow, a County employee working for Metts, with physical violence unless Snow had sex with Metts. Those actions were outside of his “just powers,” as the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission found in written findings and as the Montgomery County Commissioners Court determined implicitly in voting to pay Snow $45,000 of taxpayer funds to settle the lawsuit Snow had brought.
- This newspaper broke the Snow sexual harasment story over the summer of 2017. On December 11, 2017, Fox 26’s investigative reporter Greg Groogan did a report about the Metts sexual harassment story for the evening news. Groogan asked for a comment from Metts. Metts’ spokesperson Jamie Nash, a County employee whom the taxpayers pay to be Metts’ public relations person and to publish the for-profit “Montgomery County Police Reporter,” declined comment. Nash did, however, contact Isaiah Carey before the story ran to see if Carey could convince Groogan and Groogan’s superiors at Fox 26 to kill the story.The production supervisors at Fox 26 chose integrity over Metts’ corruption and ignored the request made to Carey. They ran the story.
- Used his connections as a JP to procure a multi-million contract for his logging company for the TX 249 Tollway construction. That’s corruption, not any use of “just powers.”
- Illegally represented to County employees that corrupt local political boss Marc Davenport was a “county employee” and the “official spokesman” for the Precinct 4 Justice of the Peace.
- Gave his live-in girlfriend Diane Rogers, his cousin Jane Landers, and his closest political ally’s mother jobs in his JP office. There was nothing “just” about those actions.
- Paid Jamie Nash a County government salary to run the Montgomery County Police Reporter and do public relations for Metts.
- Promised terminated County Auditor Phyllis Martin a job.
- Worked closely with a Family of Convicted Felons as well as other convicted felons to help him run his campaign and intimidate political opponents.
- Cost taxpayers over $1 million per year in lost court collections as a result of the NetData scandal.
- Showed up for work as a JP only a few hours each week despite receiving a full-time County salary from the taxpayers.
There are many other examples where Metts has abused power, so it’s accurate to conclude that most of Metts’ actions presently and as a JP were well outside of the “just powers” which Metts derived from the citizens of Montgomery County.
Commissioner Metts has some learning to do.
Metts didn’t respond to telephone calls.