PUBLISHER’S NOTE, DECEMBER 31, 2019: THERE HAS BEEN A MAJOR UPDATE TO THIS STORY. THE TEXAS COMMISSION ON LAW ENFORCEMENT CLEARED CONSTABLE KENNETH “ROWDY” HAYDEN OF ALMOST ALL CHARGES. PLEASE SEE “Texas Commission On Law Enforcement Clears Hayden Of Wrongdoing Related To Alleged Errors In Reporting Training,” The Golden Hammer, December 31, 2019.
New Caney and Austin, July 2 – The Golden Hammer, Montgomery County’s leading daily newspaper, has obtained the documents which corrupt Precinct 4 Montgomery County Commissioner James Metts and his closest political ally, Precinct 4 Constable Kenneth “Rowdy” Hayden, didn’t want ever to see the light of day. This newspaper obtained the official findings of the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE) in which the State agency called for a 180-day suspension of the Constable’s certified peace officer license, which such findings TCOLE issued on June 6, 2019.
Hayden is currently appealing the ruling. Four other officers – Chief Deputy Barry Welch, Deputy Bryan Hosler, Deputy Cory Arnold, and Deputy Richard Ford – all face similar 180-day suspensions of their licenses. Since Hayden is an elected servant, he will still be eligible to receive his salary during a suspension. It’s unclear what would happen to the other four officers who would have no ability to perform any of their duties to serve County taxpayers during a suspension.
TCOLE’s Executive Director Kim Vickers issued the five rulings which contain written findings under the heading “Executive Director’s Original Petition Recommending Suspension of Respondent’s License” in the Matter of Kenneth V. Hayden, Respondent for License Suspension, Docket Number 19-04-0500.
The gist of the findings of TCOLE against Hayden is that he “submitted, or caused to be submitted, a false or untruthful training report of continuing education requirements to TCOLE. As such, TCOLE should enter a final order suspending Respondent’s license for 180 days.”
Two sources inside of TCOLE and three in the Montgomery County government confirmed that the allegations against Hayden are far more serious than those against two officers in the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office both of whom lost their peace officer licenses permanently last year. Nevertheless, the Hayden investigation by TCOLE and the Texas Attorney General’s Office suffered a significant setback when the lead TCOLE investigator signed a probable cause affidavit for a search warrant for a telephone account, which turned out to be the incorrect account. As a result, TCOLE terminated the investigator and the criminal investigation into Hayden and the other four officers came to an abrupt conclusion.
Hayden’s closest political ally, Metts, last Tuesday, June 25, 2019, moved to remove Reagan Reed, Vice Chairman of the Montgomery County Republican Party, as a member of the County government’s “ethics committee,” because, as Metts explained, “I believed I had confidence in him that he would make good decisions and he would be unethical in anything to come before him on the committee. I no longer have that confidence.” Metts clearly would not tolerate Reed’s unwillingness to be unethical.
What specifically caused Metts to conclude that Reed would not be “unethical in anything to come before him on the [ethics] committee” was an expose article Reed wrote in the “Texas Scorecard,” a blog of Empower Texans. The article reported that Hayden faces a 6-month suspension. At the urging of a family of convicted felons, who work closely with Metts, and citizen comments from an unseemly group of approximately half a dozen others, which included at least one felon who served substantial prison time, one convicted thief, and other individuals who urged County Republican Party Chairman Wally Wilkerson to break away from the Republican Party of Texas and form their own organization, Metts drew his line in the sand against ethics.
The full Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Executive Director findings follow.