Conroe, August 21 – County Judge Craig Doyal and Precinct 2 County Commissioner Charlie Riley, both of whom have severe conflicts of interest, have placed on the Tuesday, August 22, 2017, Commissioners Court meeting a $405,500 proposed contract with CDM Smith, Inc., for the firm to redo the terribly-faulty Traffic and Revenue Study for the Montgomery County Toll Road Authority (MCTRA) SH 249 Tollway project. As CDM Smith’s Sean Tenney has explained, “This Comprehensive Study would be conducted in sufficient detail to support the project financing.”
In other words, despite enormous community opposition to the construction of the SH 249 Tollway and despite the fact that the Texas Department of Transportation would be the road without any Montgomery County financing involved, Doyal and Riley seek to push forward on the project regardless so that they may deliver enormous chunks of money to their favored political contributors, especially Bobby Adams and Halff Associates, Inc., the so-called “project manager.” Adams is Doyal’s business partner and best friend.
CDM Smith is charging the County the full price on the study, even though the company had provided an almost identical study in 2014. The 2014 study contains a number of terrible flaws, including several assumptions, such as the construction of the Woodlands Parkway Extension and other road projects, which seem likely never to occur. Since CDM Smith is also a major contributor to Doyal and Riley, Doyal and Riley seek to pay the firm the full contract price for the redo.
Conflicts of Interest
Besides the obvious conflicts of interest concerning the entire Tx-249 project and the widespread community opposition, there is another aspect of the method of Montgomery County payment for the contract that raises a conflict of interest for all five members of the Montgomery County Commissioners Court. MCTRA’s board of directors consists of the five Commissioners Court members.
MCTRA seeks to borrow the $405,500 from the County government to pay for the duplicative contract. As a result, Doyal, Riley, and the other Commissioners Court members will all represent the borrower (MCTRA) and the lender (Montgomery County) in the same loan transaction!
Riley and Precinct 1 County Commissioner Mike Meador acknowledged their conflict of interest on June 27, 2017, when Doyal sought to have the Commissioners Court approve the massive budget increase of the Montgomery Central Appraisal District (MCAD) for Fiscal Year 2018. Since Riley and Meador are MCAD board members, largely responsible for the budget increase as well as MCAD’s outrageous increases in property tax appraisals and property taxes, Riley and Meador exhibited a bit of sense when they recused themselves from the Commissioners Court vote.
The Tx-249 Tollway (Taxway) is far too important to the maintenance of Doyal’s legal defense fund (which Halff leads) and to the political contributions on which Doyal and Riley have staked their careers for them to recuse themselves from the vote on Tuesday, August 22, 2017, in the Commissioners Court. The contract proposal will pass with at least three votes – Doyal, Riley, and Meador.