BREAKING NEWS: Trial of the 21st Century, The TOMA Trial: ORN Mayor Kuykendall fears the Open Meetings Act, Riggs stands for the right of government officials to conduct business in secret

Oak Ridge North Mayor Jim Kuykendall.

Afternoon begins with strange testimony wherein Mayor Kuykendall said he fears his constituents

Conroe, March 30 – Oak Ridge North Mayor Jim Kuykendall took the witness standing the Texas Open Meetings Act (“TOMA”) trial of criminal defendants Craig Doyal, County Judge, Charlie Riley, Precinct 2 County Commissioner, and Marc Davenport, political consultant.

Kuykendall has been Mayor of Oak Ridge North for 6 years. Oak Ridge North has a population of 3,200 and five City Council members. Kuykendall stated that he “only recently” became aware of the TOMA statute and said, “It basically neuters everybody…everybody in our city at least.” The Golden Hammer asks a serious question: How is that testimony relevant to an issue concerning constitutionality?! Shouldn’t that be Kuykendall’s testimony to the Texas Legislature on matters of changing statewide policy of open government?

Kuykendall, who is not an attorney, stated that, “I can’t get their [the City Council’s] opinion…it greatly hampers me…It basically makes me a figurehead…The city manager is talking to all the councilmen…The city manger talks to them all.” The Mayor testified that Section 143 of TOMA has a “chilling effect.”

Kuykendall admitted that his only training in TOMA has been that he’s received the required training for elected officials by video twice and has received a copy of the Attorney General’s TOMA Handbook. He also admitted that someone has to have an intent to violate the statute before they’re criminally liable. Kuykendall fears that people in Oak Ridge North might misconstrue his actions as a violation rather than the Mayor having a genuine concern about the wording of the statute itself.
That Kuykendall fears his constituents as a result of TOMA and Section 143 thereof reveals the GREAT SUCCESS OF THE TEXAS OPEN MEETINGS ACT!!!!!!! As Judge Wayne Mack has stated, “People should not fear the government; government should fear the people.”
 Return of Riggs
Austin attorney Jennifer Riggs returned to the witness stand after Mayor Kuykendall finished expressing his fears.
Special Prosecutor Joe Larsen impeached Riggs’ morning testimony wherein she stated that she had never testified against the validity of TOMA previously by confronting her with a 2008 affidavit she signed in some litigation in Tarrant County (Fort Worth) where she also questions the constitutionality of other provisions of TOMA.
 In response to further questioning by Larsen, Riggs stated that she believes that government officials have a constitutional right to discuss public policy issues among a quorum of them in private.
At least, the reality of this hearing has come to the fore today. County Judge Doyal and Commissioner Charlie Riley are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars in attorney fees – supported by campaign contributors and a special legal defense fund which Doyal’s political cronies and County vendor friends have established – to fight as hard as possible for GOVERNMENT IN SECRET!
The vociferous efforts of Doyal, Riley, Meador, and their County Attorney Lambright to hide public information from the citizens of Montgomery County is the forefront of the issue in this hearing. Since the citizens are upset with them and the Legislature won’t adopt secrecy as a statewide policy, Doyal, Riley, Meador, and Davenport are asking a District Judge to legislate from the bench and do that for them.



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