Conroe, February 28 – During discussion on February 28, 2017, during the Commissioners Court meeting, of the January, 2015, resolution which inappropriately placed the County’s management and organization under the supervision of County Judge Craig Doyal, Precinct 1 County Commissioner Mike Meador stated emphatically, “I don’t care what it says” because Meador wanted the power of running the County government consolidated.
The resolution passed in 2015 on a 3 to 1 vote. Clark was absent from the Commissioners Court meeting, so he did not vote. Noack voted against Doyal’s power grab. Doyal, Riley, and Meador voted for the resolution which apparently Meador has never read.
Article V, Section 18, of the Texas Constitution places the power and duty to run the County government under the entire Montgomery County Commissioners Court. At both the February 28 and February 14 Commissioners Court meetings, Precinct 3 Commissioner James Noack and Precinct 4 Commissioner Jim Clark jointly introduced a resolution to put the control over the County government back under the full Commissioners Court. Doyal has desperately clung to the power over all County Departments.
Under Doyal’s so-called management, a difficult characterization since Doyal as the county judge only works a few hours per week, Doyal has demanded loyalty by County Department heads, such as County Human Resources Director Dodi Shaw, directly to him. Shaw complained in a February 13, 2017, letter that Doyal and his “chief of staff” jim fredricks have interfered with the work of the Human Resources Department, demanded loyalty to Doyal, and threatened Shaw as a member of Doyal’s so-called “Hit List” of County employees who supported his 2014 electoral opponent Mark Bosma.
Doyal’s management and operation of the County Departments has resulted in the following problems, among many others:
- Rampant nepotism, particularly in the hiring of Charlie Riley’s wife for a new position Riley himself had created, in the hiring of Mike Meador’s brother to work inside of the Building Maintenance Department, and the attempted promotion of Doyal’s daughter inside the County Treasurer’s Department;
- Conflicts of interest, particular with Doyal himself, who has made Halff Associates, Inc., a preferred vendor receiving millions of dollars of County road contracts, when Halff’s vice president and Conroe director, Bobby Adams, is Doyal’s business partner and best friend;
- tens of millions of dollars of wasteful spending;
- inefficient operational practices, because Doyal has failed to manage and has failed to require many County Department heads to manage their Departments as well;
- secrecy regarding County operations from the public in violation of the Texas policy requiring governmental “openness” and transparency;
- hiding a serious public health hazard inside the Montgomery County Courthouse as a result of poor demolition practices involving walls and ceiling tiles containing chrysotile 6 asbestos; Doyal’s and Building Maintenance Department Paul Case’s poor management has resulted in several employee exposures, several workers compensation claims, and potential danger to the public moving inside the Courthouse.
One of the reasons that Doyal, Meador, and Riley are clinging to the centralized management of the County rather than permitting the Commissioners Court to fulfill its duty under the Texas Constitution is because, at the insistence of the Texas Department of Transportation, the County adopted a “Code of Ethics,” a mostly empty-toothed policy under the enforcement of a powerless “Ethics Committee.” Under the current County management structure, Doyal will strongly influence the selection of four of the five “Ethics Committee” members and, arguably, all five, since County Auditor Phyllis Martin seems to work in lockstep with Doyal rather than independently.
Noack’s and Clark’s resolution failed on 2 to 3 votes both on February 14 and February 28. Noack and Clark have vowed to continue to offer the resolution to return management of the County Departments to the full Commissioners Court at every Commissioners Court meeting until the proposal passes.
In reality, Meador should “care” what the written resolution says which determines the manner in which this $381 million per year County operates. He’s derelict in his duty by announcing that he doesn’t.