Magnolia, December 20 – Conservative Republican muckraker Ginger Russell caught Precinct 2 County Commissioner Charlie Riley using his so-called “Charlie Riley Band” for a political campaign event at Nichols Sawmill Elementary School on Monday, December 18, 2017, where a school official photographed Riley’s band playing with his campaign logo on the bass drums in place of the less political logo the band previously used. A photograph of Riley’s political campaign logo, identical to the new logo on the drums, follows.
Russell said, “The political corruption between Commissioner Charlie Riley and Magnolia Independent School District is out of control and must be stopped. Besides being unlawful, this is is unfair to anyone else who would like to run a fair race as commissioner. Superintendent Todd Stephens has overstepped his role as a Superintendent and works with Commissioner Riley to make sure he has plenty of face time in front of the school district and its parents.”
As for the new logo on the bass drums of the band, Russell said, “Riley and his band have branded themselves with his ‘CR’ logo, which is on his campaign signs, his campaign shirts, and now it’s on his drums. Obviously, the Charlie Riley Band is nothing more than a campaign tool.”
During the morning of Tuesday, December 19, Russell called the switchboard of Magnolia ISD to ask where the “Charlie Riley Band” would play next. After the receptionist recognized Russell, she transferred the call to Superintendent Stephens’ personal secretary who asked Russell, “Do you have children that go to the school?”
Russell responded, “No. I just want to know when they’re playing.”
Stephens’ secretary then retorted rudely, “Well, then you don’t have a reason to know when they’re playing.”
Russell then said, “I’m a taxpayer.” The secretary then hung the phone up on Russell.
Russell told The Golden Hammer, “I’m a taxpayer of the Magnolia ISD. I’m entitled to know when they’re holding political events for their favored politician. No one should be treated as rudely as I was.”
A Montgomery County Grand Jury is currently investigating Riley, Stephens, Montgomery County Judge Craig Doyal, and possibly others for the following allegations, among others:
- 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, past and present, 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.