Conroe, November 17 – The Montgomery County Grand Jury, which is investigating Montgomery County Judge Craig Doyal’s and Precinct 2 County Commissioner Charlie Riley’s use of County government property, equipment, and services for their personal and political campaign purposes, subpoenaed approximately three hundred pages of documents from the Montgomery County Risk Management Department on Thursday morning, November 16, 2017, according to two confidential sources who have confirmed all of the facts in this story.
The Risk Management Department manages the County government’s self-insurance program, including actuarial valuation and assessment and handling of claims. Therefore, Risk Management would have detailed information providing valuation of County property and equipment. As part of its handling of general liability self-insurance, the Risk Management Department must also place financial values on many County services. The Montgomery County government self-insures, meaning that it builds a fund for the purpose of paying insurance claims in the event of property and casualty losses.
Valuation of the County property, equipment, and services which Doyal and Riley allegedly used is critical to the criminal investigation, because of the language of Section 39.02 of the Texas Penal Code which provides: “A public servant commits an offense if, with intent to obtain a benefit or with intent to harm or defraud another, he intentionally or knowingly…misuses government property, services, personnel, or any other thing of value belonging to the government that has come into the public servant’s custody or possession by virtue of the public servant’s office or employment.” The Penal Code provision provides that the violation is:
- a Class C misdemeanor if the value of the use of the thing misused is less than $20;
- a Class B misdemeanor if the value of the use of the thing misused is $20 or more but less than $500;
- a Class A misdemeanor if the value of the use of the thing misused is $500 or more but less than $1,500;
- a state jail felony if the value of the use of the thing misused is $1,500 or more but less than $20,000;
- a felony of the third degree if the value of the use of the thing misused is $20,000 or more but less than $100,000;
- a felony of the second degree if the value of the use of the thing misused is $100,000 or more but less than $200,000; or
- a felony of the first degree if the value of the use of the thing misused is $200,000 or more.
Therefore, cases under Section 39.02 of the Penal Code often involve substantial evidence with respect to the “value of the use of the thing misused…” In the case involving the conviction of Liberty County Commissioner Mike McCarty, who was convicted and removed from office on April 24, 2017, the jury spent most of the trial hearing evidence on the value of the property, equipment, and services McCarty misused.
The Golden Hammer, along with valiant conservative Republican political activists Ginger Russell and Kelli Cook, have uncovered the following, among other actions involving Doyal and Riley:
- Under then Commissioner Craig Doyal’s personal direction, a County employee regularly prepared his campaign reports at the Precinct 2 office.
- Under Doyal’s personal direction, a County employee prepared political program ads during work hours at the Precinct 2 office.
- Under Doyal’s personal direction, a County employee prepared and mailed political checks during work hours and worked on political fundraisers during for Doyal during work hours.
- Other county employees in Precinct 2 worked on campaign activities and fundraisers for Doyal during work hours.
- The Precinct 2 mechanics shop built platforms during work hours for Doyal’s political fundraisers.
- Operations Manager Charlie Riley purchased food for Doyal’s political fundraisers during county business hours.
- Doyal approved of the use of County materials, equipment, and time to work on his campaign.
- Riley instructed a County employee to “do what you need to do to get it [Doyal’s political campaign reports] finished” including taking a county printer to the County employee’s home.
- For the past several years, Riley and Doyal have stored their barbecue trailers they use during political campaigns on County property in the Precinct 2 Commissioners barnyard in Magnolia behind a locked and gated fence. Riley and Doyal have not paid the County anything for the use of that storage space.
- Precinct 2 employees have confirmed that Riley and Doyal have had County employees provide automotive repairs and vehicle maintenance to members of Riley’s and Doyal’s families at no charge to them.
- Riley and Doyal had the Building Maintenance Department install plumbing and electrical connections at the Precinct 2 barnyard so they could cook there for their political campaigns.
- On September 14, 2017, Riley admitted in writing, “As far as the County yard storing my personal cooking trailer, that is correct.”
- On October 13, 2017, Riley, his wife Deanne who is a County employee in the position Riley established for her, and several County employees spent a large portion of the County work day making preparations for his political campaign kickoff the next day.
- On October 14, 2017, Riley, Stephens, and at least two Magnolia ISD maintenance workers loaded a Magnolia ISD truck at the Magnolia ISD Administration Building with Riley’s personal band equipment stored at the Administration Building for free. The school district employees then transported the equipment to the site of Riley’s political campaign kickoff, unloaded the equipment, participated in Riley’s campaign presentation, loaded the equipment back onto the school district truck, transported it back to the Administration Building, and unloaded the equipment with Riley and Stephens there to help with the unloading and re-storage of the equipment.
- On October 14, 2017, Riley utilized some County-owned electrical carts as a “train” to carry passengers attending Riley’s campaign kickoff from where they parked to the site of the event. On October 15, 2017, the carts were back in the Commissioners Precinct 2 barnyard behind the locked and gated fence.
- On October 16, 2017, in order to attempt to cover up Riley’s free use of school district vehicles and employees, Stephens ordered Director of Finance Garrett Matej to create a phony invoice 8101 for $100.00 to Riley for Riley’s use of the school district’s truck over the October 14 and 15 weekend.