Image: Precinct 4 Montgomery County Commissioner James Metts (center in hat) with his girlfriend Diane Rogers (far right) and others in “Sweetie Pie’s,” the restaurant and flower shop in Splendora they own together as business partners.
New Caney and Splendora, November 17 – The Golden Hammer, Montgomery County’s leading daily newspaper, has confirmed through several sources in JP James Metts’ campaign and in his Precinct 4 JP Office that Metts will bring his live-in girlfriend Diane Rogers with him as an employee of his Commissioner Precinct 4 Office when Metts becomes the Precinct 4 Montgomery County Commissioner on January 1, 2019. Incoming Justice of the Peace Jason Dunn declined to keep Rogers on his Court staff.
East Montgomery County deserves a Commissioner who works hard for the taxpayers and hires an outstanding staff of employees based upon merit. So far, Metts seems far more focused on hiring family members and political cronies, especially those wayward County government employees whom other County Departments have spurned. In his JP position, Metts only worked approximately ten (10) hours per week and was rarely seen in the JP Court during his last two years in office. Metts is far more focused on his logging business where he and his son have lucrative government contracts, especially those arising from the construction of the unpopular TX 249 Tollway, known better as the “Decimation of Hope Highway.”
Since his election in the May 22, 2018, Republican Runoff Election, people have rarely seen Metts in East Montgomery County. Earlier this year, Metts was the guest speaker at the East Montgomery County Republican Women to discuss his plans for his Commissioner Precinct 4 Office, but he failed to appear for the event.
Metts currently employs his girlfriend, Rogers, as his Juvenile Case Manager in the JP 4 Court at a salary of $43,609.36, plus benefits of approximately 17,574.57, for total annual compensation from the taxpayers of $61,183.93. Rogers works in the JP office about five (5) hours per day four days per week. When Metts is in the office, Rogers spends a large portion of her time serving Metts meals and socializing with him.
Metts and Rogers are also fifty-fifty partners in “Sweetie Pie’s,” a restaurant and flower shop in Splendora. Metts, who has claimed that he’s a Republican, and Rogers openly supported Jay Stittleburg, the ultra-liberal democrat who ran for Montgomery County Judge in the November 6 General Election against Montgomery County Judge-Elect Mark Keough. They held a campaign fundraiser and “meet and greet” event for Stittleburg at their restaurant.
The Montgomery County government, known across the State as “the most corrupt in Texas,” does not have an anti-nepotism rule in place. Metts is one of the worst County officials to hire based upon nepotism. Metts currently employees his cousin, the mother of his closest political ally Rowdy Hayden, and Rogers.
Despite being Metts’ girlfriend and business partner, Rogers is a direct report to Metts in JP 4.
Rogers will move over to the Commissioner Precinct 4 Office on January 1 to become Metts’ Administrator, a position which currently pays $81,357.64 salary, benefits of $32,787.13, for total compensation of $114,144.77. Matthew Nelson currently holds the position, which the heroic Marie Moore held before her untimely death in September, 2017.
Rogers only works part-time, because she and Metts together manage “Sweetie Pie’s” and Rogers is usually over at that restaurant several hours per day. Regardless, Metts still pays Rogers with County tax dollars as though she works full time and has slated her to receive the full-time compensation of the Precinct Administrator position as well.
The arrangement should be worrisome to County taxpayers and risk managers. Metts has had a previous sexual harassment lawsuit, which the Montgomery County government settled by paying $45,000 of taxpayer funds, concerning another employee in his JP 4 Office. Any romantic or business breakup between Metts and Rogers could prove very costly to Montgomery County taxpayers with the arrangement Metts has established.