Editorial: Doyal, Fredricks should apologize to whistleblowing HR Director Shaw

County Judge Craig Doyal.

Conroe, February 24 – County Judge Craig Doyal’s meeting this morning with whistleblowing Human Resources Director Dodi Shaw should have one and only one purpose: Doyal should apologize to Shaw. His conduct and that of his “chief of staff” Jim Fredricks have been reprehensible.

No unbiased observer believes Doyal for a split second that he didn’t include Shaw on his “Hit List” of County officials against he would seek retribution after he defeated County Infrastructure Director Mark Bosma in the 2014 Republican Runoff Election for County Judge. Shaw wrote about Doyal’s “Hit List” in her February 13, 2017, letter to Doyal and the four County Commissioners in which she expressed concerns about her job, her job independence, and political gamesmanship involving a “reorganization” of the County Treasurer’s Office that, at least initially, included promoting Doyal’s daughter, Lindsey Doyal, to the position of “Assistant County Treasurer.” County Treasurer Stephanne Davenport worked with Shaw and the Human Resource Department’s Assistant Director Kathy Flowers on the proposed reorganization. Although Davenport on the one hand and Shaw and Flowers on the other hand may have had some disagreements, the injection of Doyal and Fredricks into the process immediately brought politics, posturing, and nepotism squarely into the forefront of the situation.

Regardless of where one may land in the feud between Davenport and Shaw, the person who made a testy situation into a seriously bad one was Craig Doyal.

This whole situation illustrates a problem with nepotism, which Davenport has noted is “by definition an abuse of power.” Nepotism breeds mistrust among employees working together.

There’s an even larger issue involved here. A Human Resources Department exists for the employees and for the organization. Its purpose is to comply with employment rules and to ensure that the needs of individual employees are met by the organization. The chief executive of a business should never interfere in the operations of a human resources function. Similarly, the County Judge should never involve himself in Human Resource Department matters (nor should his public relations consultant Fredricks).

Whether Doyal kept Shaw on his “Hit List” or not, Doyal should not have interfered in the functions of the Human Resources Department, should not have gotten into the middle of a situation between Davenport and Shaw, and should not have interfered with Shaw’s attempts to blow the whistle with respect to Human Resource Policy violations or nepotism.

The attendance of County Commissioner James Noack, rather than Commissioner Mike Meador, is entirely appropriate. Meador and Doyal have joined at the hip. They are the “axis of evil” with respect to mismanagement, wasteful spending, nepotism, and the politicalization of County operations. Noack provides the counterbalance.

Either way, only one thing should occur at the meeting this morning: Craig Doyal should humbly apologize and let Dodi Shaw go about her job.





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