Conroe, July 5 – County Treasurer Stephanne Davenport’s office, and its payroll group in particular, have become the clear sources of troubling leaks of confidential employee payroll information over the past few months. Rather than performing the Treasurer’s payroll function for obvious administrative reasons, it appears that Davenport has turned the County Treasurer’s office into a political arm of her and her husband Marc’s political organization. When their perceived political enemies threaten them, the Davenports disclose personal payroll information, even though federal law clearly protects such information, including employee addresses, Social Security numbers, dates of birth, mandatory payroll deductions such as payroll taxes and wage garnishments, as well as employee benefits.
Several County employees have told The Golden Hammer that they are moving to receive their paychecks by paper checks rather than credits to their bank accounts, because they do not feel comfortable sharing their personal and bank account information with Davenport and her payroll staff. Davenport’s payroll operations have suffered numerous troubles, including one occasion on January 10, 2014, when County employees’ payroll payments began to bounce, because Davenport had failed to move sufficient funds into the bank account off of which she drew the payroll payments.
Several political disclosures
Davenport clearly makes decisions within her County office for political rather than managerial or financial reasons. Her recent attempt to “reorganize” her 6-person department was a very thinly veiled attempt to promote County Judge Craig Doyal’s daughter to the position of Deputy Treasurer.
Just as troubling, however, are the disclosures which have occurred regarding confidential payroll information about County employees, which Davenport seems to have made for political reasons.
Beginning in August, 2016, around the time when reports began to surface that Marc Davenport’s crony Judge James Metts intended to run for Precinct 4 County Commissioner against incumbent Commissioner Jim Clark, wage garnishments and levies from Clark’s payroll began to surface after Marc Davenport told numerous political activists that those garnishments occurred. Marc Davenport even disclosed the precise amount of Clark’s paychecks after the payroll deductions. Only two Department Directors and one other employee within the County government had access to Clark’s paycheck deduction information: County Treasurer Stephanne Davenport, Davenport’s assistant Lindsey Doyal who oversees the County’s payroll, and Human Resources Director Dodi Shaw. Therefore, the source of the leaks to Marc Davenport could only have come from one of those three people: Stephanne Davenport, Lindsey Doyal, or Dodi Shaw.
On April 12, 2017, Marc Davenport, who, along with Wayne Mack, detests County employee Marie Moore, disclosed Moore’s accumulated comp time on the County payroll system in order to criticize Moore for her not returning some money the Commissioners Court had approved for payment to her during late 2016. Comp time accounts reside on the County’s accounting system in a section to which only two County employees have access, Stephanne Davenport and Dodi Shaw. At this point in the analysis, the source of the leaks to Marc Davenport could only have come from one of two people: Stephanne Davenport or Dodi Shaw.
On January 19, 2017, in a further attempt to discredit Clark and bolster Metts’ chance of winning the Precinct 4 Commissioner job, Marc Davenport disclosed confidential information about time card entries on the physical time cards of three ladies who work at the East Montgomery County Senior Center who have asserted an overtime wage claim. Marc Davenport accused Moore of falsifying information on the time cards after the employees had turned their time card information in to the County for processing of their payroll. There are only two County Departments which have access to the physical time card information: Stephanne Davenport’s Treasurer’s office and the office of County Auditor Phyllis Martin.
By the process of elimination, the source of the leaks of the payroll information protected as confidential under federal law can only be one person inside of the Montgomery County government: County Treasurer Stephanne Davenport, who obviously leaked the confidential payroll information for political gain to her husband Marc who then published the information on social media.
As the person responsibility by statute for the County payroll, County Treasurer Stephanne Davenport has a mandatory duty under federal law to protect the confidentiality of employee payroll information. Not only has she failed to protect employees’ confidential information but also Davenport appears intentionally to misuse employee information for her and her husband’s political gain.