Conroe, July 2 – Montgomery County Treasurer Stephanne Davenport placed a proposed contract on the agenda for the June 26, 2018, meeting of the Montgomery County Commissioners Court for Justice of the Peace court collections but failed to include the agreement. Davenport also failed to show up for the Commissioners Court meeting in order to explain what she wanted the Commissioners Court to approve.
The agenda item was “Consider and Approve Changes to Payment Systems with GHS [Graves Humphries Stahl law firm] and authorized Judge Mack, Judge Spikes, Judge Metts, or Judge Masden to sign on behalf of the County.”
Rather than using the County’s Collections Department which has over a 97% collection rate for collections of fees and fines for Precinct 3 Justice of the Peace Edie Connelly, who has by far the most efficient Justice of the Peace Court in Montgomery County, the other four JP court utilize an outside law firm which hardly takes any action to collect the fees and fines but receives a 30% collection fee when the fines eventually come into County coffers. As The Golden Hammer has previously reported, the terrible GHS collection system costs Montgomery County taxpayers more than $880,000 per year in uncollected fees and fines, because corrupt local political boss Marc Davenport and his client, JP James Metts, have forced the terribly inefficient collection system on the four JP courts other than Connelly’s.
When another County employee stepped forward to try to explain the new collection payment system for the GHS contract, Precinct 3 County Commissioner James Noack responded, “I don’t have a problem with anything you said, except that I’m being asked to vote on a contract that I haven’t had a chance to review. Yesterday, I asked if the County Atty had reviewed the contract and the answer was ‘no.'”
Assistant County Attorney John McKinney then stepped forward during the Commissioners Court meeting and said he had reviewed the proposed contract.
While McKinney or someone inside the County Attorney’s Office should, of course, review any contract in which the County will enter, neither the Commissioners Court members nor the public should suffer exclusion from review of proposed contracts prior to Commissioners Court meetings. All proposed contracts should be a part of the Commissioners Court agenda as a link upon which everyone may put their eyes.
Although Davenport, after losing the March 6 Republican Primary Election in a landslide to challenger Melanie Pryor Bush, rarely now comes into work, she should appear in Commissioners Court meetings when she has items on the agenda. Davenport continues to draw a hefty salary from the taxpayers. That’s the least she could do.