Conroe, March 29 – While the Pin-Gate scandal continues, at least Precinct 2 Constable Gene De Forest received his “15 Year Service Pin” during the March 28, 2017, Commissioners Court meeting and declared that it was a “pin for all of the 15-Year Service” recipients whom County Judge Craig Doyal is slighting by refusing to include them in the April 27, 2017, ceremony to recognize longstanding County employees.
In secret communications, which two different members of the Employee Committee Board of Directors have now confirmed to The Golden Hammer, County Judge Doyal has instructed the Employee Committee not to include 15-Year Service Award pins in 2017, because Doyal does not want to attend a ceremony which honors the lengthy service of Constable De Forest, a member of Doyal’s “Hit List” of County employees who did not support Doyal’s 2014 election as County Judge in the Republican Primary Election. De Forest leaned towards the camp of Doyal’s electoral opponent Mark Bosma, who served as Montgomery County’s Infrastructure Director before Doyal terminated Bosma’s employment in early 2015.
As a result of Doyal’s direction not to award 15-Year Service Award pins during the upcoming ceremony on April 27, 2017, at 2 p.m., fifty-two (52) other County employees, besides Constable De Forest, will also not be eligible to participate in the ceremony. Usually, less than half of the eligible employees participate in the ceremony, because they elect to continue their job duties instead.
Citizens have labeled Doyal’s hyper politicalization of a service award ceremony and the terrible slight to hard working employees, such as De Forest, “Pin-Gate.”
De Forest told The Golden Hammer, Montgomery County’s leading daily newspaper, “I guess Judge Doyal decided to take a jab at all of the 15 year pins because I’m on his ‘Hit List.’ By taking a jab at me, it’s not fair because they’re hurting all of those other people.” De Forest said, “When I got my list of the people who the County invited to receive pins, I was surprised to find my name and Chief Deputy [Charles] Roper not on the list. I sent an email to the Committee. She sent me an email back saying I’d get a pin but I just wasn’t invited to be part of the ceremony.”
March 28 Ceremony
During the March 28 Commissioners Court, however, justice, right, and the American Way completed a long forward pass. A small group of private citizens presented Constable De Forest with an official Montgomery County 15 Year Service Award Pin which a retired County employee provided to The Golden Hammer over this past weekend after he read of Doyal’s attempt to exclude “Hit List” member De Forest from the Service Award recognition. As a result, the citizens – all within the space of Doyal’s 3 minute time restriction for citizens to speak in his presence – gave recognition to De Forest and awarded De Forest his “15 Year Service Award Pin” by pinning it to his lapel.
The citizens explained that “Since January 1, 2001, you’ve [Constable De Forest] done a great job as our elected Precinct 2 Constable. Your office acts as the central hub for all papers served in Montgomery County…We appreciate your 40 years of service in law enforcement, 18 years working for the Conroe Police Department, and 16 years in Montgomery County as our Constable.”
Constable Gene De Forest is known for “professionalism, pride in his public service, honesty, and integrity.” As the citizens announced, “you’re also a heckuva nice guy.”
De Forest showed genuine humility and emotion during the recognition ceremony. De Forest thanked “all of the citizens of Montgomery County.” He also declared, “This Pin is for all of the 15-Year Service Award” recipients whom Doyal is slighting in order to effectuate his “Hit” on De Forest.