Image: Official United States House of Representatives Portrait of Kevin Brady, Republican Congressman from The Woodlands, Chairman of the United States House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee.
New Caney and The Woodlands, December 10 – The announcement that United States Congressman Kevin Brady, Republican of The Woodlands who is Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, endorsed Montgomery County JP James Metts – who has had serious recent sexual harassment allegations that have cost Montgomery County taxpayers at least $45,000 to settle – to run for higher office, Precinct 4 County Commissioner, brought shock to citizens of this suburban community north of Harris County and Houston. Montgomery County Treasurer Stephanne Davenport, who is a member of a corrupt group of elected officials who work with her husband, local political boss Marc Davenport, who is managing Metts’ campaign and often involves himself in running Metts’ County office, made the announcement:
“Are we all so excited? Today, I want to announce the elected officials who are standing up in support of Judge Metts…Christian Collins, the campaign manager on behalf of Congressman Kevin Brady!”
Collins had signed a list of government officials who are supporting the embattled Metts to run against incumbent County Commissioner Jim Clark, Precinct 4 of Montgomery County, because Clark has openly fought the political establishment to try to reduce government spending, to bring ethics reform, and to prevent Davenport’s husband, Metts, and others, who are known as “The Davenport Ring,” from taking control over the County’s Purchasing and Information Technology functions.
Last night, however, Collins spoke with this newspaper and explained, “When I got there, they told me ‘make sure you sign in’ so I signed the sheet. I didn’t know it was an endorsement list. In my line of work, there’d never be an instance where we would get involved in a contested Republican Primary. My job is to help Kevin Brady. Taking a stand against Jim Clark or Bob Bagley in a contested race would never be in the best interest of Congressman Brady.”
Collins also said, “I’ve never met Judge Metts, but it looks like he has some support. I went to the meeting yesterday to find out what was going on in East Montgomery County. I want to learn.”
Even though Metts and Stephanne Davenport claimed to have the Congressman Kevin Brady endorsement, Collins, Brady’s campaign manager, could not have made it more clear to this newspaper and to some others on social media that the Congressman was decidedly neutral in the race and would never endorse any candidate.
Metts’ sexual harassment problems
It’s not at all clear why County Treasurer Davenport, who obviously works at the direction of her husband corrupt local political boss Marc Davenport, would claim Brady endorsed Metts for County Commissioner, although to her credit she was reading off of a signed list. The endorsement by a national Republican Congressional leader would be especially troubling after numerous and substantial news reports concerning Metts’ sexual harassment problems which have cost Montgomery County taxpayers mightily. Collins denied endorsing Metts on behalf of Brady when confronted on Facebook, “That is incorrect. I simply attended an event and I was asked to sign in. So I did. Then my name was listed as one of those that attended the event. I have NOT endorsed anyone, nor has Congressman Brady.”
Collins, however, signed a sheet where, at least according to Stephanne Davenport’s public comments during the “Event,” elected officials gave their support for Metts in the race against Clark. Clark has threatened the political establishment, because (1) he has consistently supported local law enforcement but (2) he’s demanded reduced government spending in non-law enforcement areas, (3) Clark has demanded ethics reform and (4) Clark voluntarily agreed to testify against Marc Davenport, County Judge Craig Doyal, and Precinct 2 County Commissioner Charlie Riley in their pending criminal case for alleged violations of the Texas Open Meetings Act.
The County Treasurer, Stephanne Davenport, was clear yesterday morning that she read from a list of “the elected officials who are standing up in support of Judge Metts…” Christian Collins did sign the list on behalf of his boss, Congressman Brady
Brady’s endorsement of a government official, who has cost the Montgomery County taxpayers substantially to pay his sexual harassment settlement, would be particularly troubling, because the United States Congress faces so many questions at this point in time over its so-called “Office of Compliance” which is paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in secret settlement payments to make sexual harassment and sexual misconduct complaints against Members of Congress go away and get swept under the rug.
- Since May 2004, Snow “was subjected to harassment of a sexual nature by her immediate supervisor [Metts].”
- “Among other things, the supervisor [Metts] discussed his sex life in…[Snow’s] presence and told jokes of a sexual nature.”
- After Snow “complained of the harassment and continued to reject the advances of her immediate supervisor [Metts], he began systematically retaliating against her, ultimately terminating her employment.”
- In 2004, Metts initially asked Snow “for dates, offered her gifts and money and created the impression among other staff that he and…[Snow] were romantically involved.”
- Snow alleged that on the occasion when she “rejected his advances and refused his offer of money, he threatened to hit her.”
- “The harassment stopped for a period after she complained, but started up again and intensified in August and September 2006.”
- Metts “created a sexually hostile work environment by discussing his sex life in the presence of…[Snow], as well as other staff, and telling jokes of a sexual nature.”
- Snow would tell Metts “that his comments were more information then [sic] she needed to know, refuse to participate in those discussions or leave the area.”
- “Documentary evidence obtained during the investigation shows that Respondent [Montgomery County] failed to follow policy when…[Snow] was issued a Third Level disciplinary action and subjected to immediate termination of employment…” because Snow never received First or Second level disciplinary actions, a violation of the Montgomery County Employment Policy in place at the time.
- Montgomery County admitted to EEOC that “the termination of…[Snow] was initiated and carried out by” Metts.
- “Therefore, based on the analysis of the evidence, the Commission concludes that the evidence obtained during the investigation establishes that Respondent violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended with respect to Delonna Snow’s allegations of sex discrimination and retaliation.”
- “Therefore, based on the analysis of the evidence, the Commission concludes that the evidence obtained during the investigation establishes that Respondent violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended with respect to Delonna Snow’s allegations of sex discrimination and retaliation.” – United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Metts regularly brags to his court staff that he works “three full-time jobs.” As Metts explains it, he works as a JP, as a full-time “president of a logging/clearing business,” and as the co-manager of Sweetie Pies, the Splendora restaurant which he and his girlfriend Dianne Rogers operate together.
Metts and Rogers live together. They are not married. The real peril for Montgomery County taxpayers would rise if Metts and Rogers ever ended their romantic relationship and broke up. That’s where the serious problems with sexual harassment claims easily arise in circumstances where County employees recklessly have sexual relationships with people whom they directly supervise.
December 9 announcement
On December 9 at 10 a.m., after substantial publicity about an “East Montgomery County Unity Event” where Metts would announce he is running for County Commissioner, 47 people showed up at Sweetie Pie’s Restaurant to show their support for Metts out of the more than 140,000 citizens who live in East Montgomery County.
Ironically, Sweetie Pie’s is the restaurant and flower shop Metts co-owns with his current County employee girlfriend who is a direct-report to Metts.
In addition to announcing the support of Congressman Brady for Metts’ candidacy, Davenport read the following other officials as supporting Metts, despite the serious sexual harassment problems he has caused and for which Montgomery County taxpayers had to pay a substantial cash settlement: JP Wayne Mack (a member of the Davenport Ring of corrupt government officials), County Judge Craig Doyal (a close associate of Davenport’s who is a criminal co-defendant with Davenport and Precinct 2 County Commissioner Charlie Riley; didn’t attend), Precinct Chairman David Tate of the Lake Conroe Area, Precinct 2 County Commissioner Charlie Riley, Precinct Chair Jodi Ruonavar, EMCID Board members Martin Zepeda and Stephen Carlisle, Precinct 3 Constable Ryan Gable (who spoke at the event to support Metts, even though he had previously said he would remain neutral), Sheriff Rand Henderson (Davenport Ring member), Christian Collins on behalf of Congressman Brady, Splendora Mayor Dorothy Welch (whose son works as a County employee for a member of the Davenport Ring), Precinct 4 Constable Rowdy Hayden (Davenport Ring member, whose mother is an employee of Metts in his JP office), and District Attorney Brett Ligon (didn’t attend).
Mack cannot legally endorse a candidate in contested election under the Texas Judicial Conduct Code. Gable apparently has changed his position and will not hold true to his word of neutrality in the contested race. Several individuals have told this newspaper that Ligon has never held Clark in high esteem after Clark’s former boss in private business, Alan B. Sadler (who is the former County Judge), supported an electoral opponent of Ligon.
Ligon confirmed his support of Metts over Clark to The Golden Hammer yesterday, unlike Brady’s Campaign Manager Collins who acknowledged it would never be in the “best interest” of Congressman Brady to endorse a candidate in a contested Republican Primary. Ligon should explain publicly how he can condone, with an endorsement, Metts’ sexual misconduct inside a County Office.
Precinct 4 JP candidate Jason Dunn is also a member of the corrupt Davenport Ring and endorsed Metts yesterday.
The 2018 Republican Primary Election on March 6 is shaping up as a reformer versus political establishment race. The list of the foregoing officials who have backed Metts would seem to be the political “establishment” consisting of the corrupt Davenport Ring and those who work closely with them. Metts is clearly a member of the corrupt establishment.