Conroe, March 28 – Could County Attorney JD Lambright be melting the frost in the citizens’ hearts towards his policies? Perhaps, because the County Attorney showed great leadership during today’s March 28 Commissioners Court meeting when the Court addressed the appointment of five individuals to the Ethics Committee which will have weak enforcement powers to patrol the Code of Ethics.
After Precinct 2 County Commissioner Charlie Riley initially suggested the appointment of two close friends of his to the Ethics Committee, Lambright rose and addressed the Commissioners Court. “I suggest that you take this responsibility very seriously,” Lambright told the County Commissioners Court members. “As you know, Amy Dunham, B.D. Griffin, and I worked very hard to draft a real ethics policy for this County. We need to make sure that the Ethics Policy and its enforcement has integrity, transparency, and truth. The policy itself prohibits county employees from serving on the Committee. To avoid political bias, it’s probably not advisable to have recent former county employees either.”
After Riley initially took offense at Lambright’s comments, Lambright clarified, “I’m not questioning anyone’s integrity. Sheriff Tommy Gage [who is a close friend of Riley’s and was Riley’s suggestion for the Committee even though he retired only three months ago as a County employee] is a fine man who could serve on many other County committees but probably just not this one.”
After Lambright’s outstanding leadership and show of courage in the open meeting, the County Commissioners voted to name longtime Republican political activist Dorothy Woodall and former County Attorney Larry Foerster as the Commissioners Court appointees to the Ethics Committee.
The Commissioners Court also named Dale Inman as the County Auditor’s appointee to the Committee, Matthew Koppelman as the Human Resources Department’s recommendation, and Kelly Cooper as the Purchasing Department’s recommendation. Inman is a retired Nationwide insurance agent who also has his own church in Precinct 1. Koppelman is a retired pricing analyst who worked for Huntsman Chemical Company and lives in Spring. The appointment of Kelly Cooper was downright bizarre. Cooper was a Purchasing Department suggestion but no one on the Commissioners Court – or otherwise – seems to know anything about that person. Nevertheless, the five Commissioners Court members named Kelly Cooper to the Ethics Committee anyway.
In suggesting criteria for the Ethics Committee appointments, County Attorney JD Lambright showed terrific leadership and kept the Commissioners Court on track towards a serious ethics policy rather than an ethics policy in name only for political show.