Editorial: The ethics test comes from mistakes and how one responds: Carlisle learned, while Riley, Metts didn’t

Eric Yollick, The Golden Hammer

There’s a lesson of which many of us should take heed and which Bryan Carlisle and Kevin Brady taught us. The lesson is if someone makes a mistake, he should admit it and learn from it.


Yesterday, Bryan Carlisle resigned as Captain of the Executive Division of the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office after an investigation occurred concerned an altercation he had had with his wife back in October, 2017. There are a lot of people who like and respect Carlisle. He’s worked as a peace officer in this community for more than two decades. Nevertheless, it turns out he’s human. He made some serious mistakes.

When The Golden Hammer spoke with Carlisle about a month ago, he was very forthright about some of his personal shortcomings. Yesterday, Carlisle entered into a plea agreement with the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office to plead guilty to the Class C misdemeanor of disorderly conduct, to resign his law enforcement commission, and to agree not to be a law enforcement officer again.

Carlisle tendered his resignation to Sheriff Rand Henderson yesterday morning. Sheriff Henderson announced the departure to his troops early yesterday afternoon.

What both Carlisle and Henderson made clear, however, was that Carlisle is genuinely contrite for what he recognizes he did wrong. He agreed to a harsh penalty, the loss of his career. That forebodes a person who understands what he did wrong and is working to correct his mistakes. Carlisle is easily young enough that he’ll enjoy a new career doing something else that will make him yet again a very productive member of society. He’s smart, creative, and has a good enough personality that he had a successful career in a very difficult job for more than two decades.


In October, 2005, Congressman Kevin Brady was visiting family in South Dakota where he grew up. He had a little bit too much to drink at an event he attended. He was arrested and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol. Congressman Brady didn’t cover it up. He didn’t deny any and all wrongdoing. He didn’t claim he was an innocent man, falsely accused, or try to blame the police or the prosecutor for any sort of heavy handedness.

Rather, Brady pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge and paid a fine of $350. Brady publicly issued an apology and explained publicly that he had learned a lesson from this mistake.

Brady rose through the House Republican Conference as a Deputy Whip, a Way and Means Subcommittee Chairman, and eventually Chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, the position in which he now serves in the United States Congress.

Brady handled the DUI charge perfectly both immediately after it happened and in the long-term thereafter.

You haven’t heard about Brady’s criminal issue for a long time, because, at this point, it’s just not an issue. People make mistakes. Some people, like Brady, respond in a mature fashion that sets a strong example for his children and everyone else.

Ligon’s reaction to Charlie Riley

Precinct 2 Montgomery County Commissioner Charlie Riley is currently under criminal indictment for official misconduct for allegedly violating the Texas Open Meetings Act (TOMA).

During the past six months, Riley came under investigation for using government property for private and political purposes. The Grand Jury never voted on the allegations against Riley. He was not “no-billed.” Instead, what happened was that the District Attorney Office investigation revealed that Riley had, in fact, broken the law but the statute of limitation for bringing the criminal prosecution had passed.

In 2002, Riley and his wife filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy after they ran a restaurant business into the ground. Their creditors did not get paid. The State of Texas filed a tax lien against Riley.

How has Riley reacted to those situations? First, he never admitted his mistakes. To the contrary, Riley has attempted to blame other people – some guy from Jordan, Ginger Russell, and even Montgomery County District Attorney Brett Ligon. Riley has claimed that he “assured everyone of my innocence and made it clear that I had done nothing wrong.” Riley even invoked the Lord’s name claiming that God had made “the truth known.”

Riley is one of those people who hides behind his claimed religion. He reminds us of Jim and Tammy Bakker. Riley has done nothing in that regard but use the Lord’s name in vain, as he has previously during Commissioners Court meetings when he loses his very short temper.

Riley never learned from his mistakes. Instead, he has lied about them. Riley wants the public to believe he’s perfect. Meanwhile, he’s threatened District Attorney Brett Ligon while trying to portray himself as a victim.

The only portrait that Riley has actually painted of himself is of a man who won’t acknowledge that he’s human.


And then there’s James Metts. Metts is a mess.

First, there was the sexual harassment where the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission found that Metts repeatedly asked to have sex with one of his County employees in his court office, when she refused, he threatened to hit her, and when she continued to refuse, he fired her. Montgomery County taxpayers paid $45,000 to settle the lawsuit the former employee brought against the County government as a result of Metts’ sexual harassment and advances.

Metts has never shown the least bit of contrition, never acknowledged any mistake, and clearly has learned nothing. How can we know that Metts has learned nothing? He’s in a romantic relationship with Diane Rogers, his juvenile case manager, who directly reports to Metts inside his JP court office. Metts is in a business partnership with Rogers as well. Apparently, Metts is willing to risk the taxpayers’ money again.

Second, Metts has approximately $250,000 outstanding judgments and federal tax liens against him. Rather than dealing with those serious financial issues, Metts has carefully managed all of his money and property so that nothing is in his name. That’s why Metts pays no property taxes to Montgomery County. He owns no property!

Third, Metts was in a horrible motor vehicle accident in 2002, when he pulled his logging truck out onto a busy road apparently without looking for oncoming traffic, and a man hit Metts’ logging trailer from behind and ultimately died from his injuries. Metts has shown not the slightest bit of remorse for this horrific incident.

Some people never learn and are unwilling to admit they’ve even made a mistake. That tells you a lot about the character of Charlie Riley and James Metts and ultimately explains why their behavior as public servants reveals arrogance rather than any form of humility.






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