Image: Shifty-eyed lawyer Rich Muller of Sugar Land, April 24, 2018.
Conroe, May 2 – The “professionals” who appeared before the Montgomery County Commissioners Court on April 24, 2018, to try to sell the $95 million, 3 mile, TX 249 Tollway, also known as the Decimation of Hope Highway, weren’t particularly professional that day. Charles Terrell Palmer, the financial advisor slated to make a fortune off the sale of the bonds for the unpopular tollroad project, lied to the Commissioners Court about the amount of the bonds. Please see “Palmer, Post Oak Municipal Advisors Breach Fiduciary Duty, Lie About Amount Of Tollroad Debt In Open Commissioners Court,” The Golden Hammer, May 1, 2018.
Palmer and Sugar Land tollroad lawyer Rich Muller, whom County Judge Craig Doyal and Precinct 2 County Commissioner Charlie Riley have relied upon to sell the concept of the tollroad to the citizens of Montgomery County and who has clearly failed in that quest, made up all sorts of answers on the fly during the April 24 Commissioners Court meeting.
Perhaps, the worst lie came from Muller when Precinct 3 County Commissioner James Noack asked a pretty simple question to the lawyer about whether the County government to call a referendum to permit the voters to approve or disapprove the proposed tollroad project. Of course, the voters in Montgomery County already voted more than 91% in favor of requiring that the County government hold a voter referendum before the government proceeds with a tollroad project or the funding therefor.
Noack asked Muller, “Can we just say we want to have an election? Forget about having to go through the petition process. If this court voted today that we’re going to put it on the ballot in November, can we do it?”
At that point, Muller began to stammer. Instead of admitting that the answer to Noack’s question is clearly in the affirmative, Muller chose the easier course. He lied.
Muller answered, “I don’t think you can have an election when it’s not required. Okay? What this section says in total is if the residents want to petition for an election, this is the mechanism for them to do so. I don’t there is a mechanism for you to have just a revenue bond election. And even if you were to do that, you’d be so far behind on the calendar…”
Oops, Mr. Muller. Lawyers aren’t supposed to lie to their clients and have a fiduciary duty (a duty of the highest care) not to do so.
Doyal, Riley, Muller, and Palmer intend to issue the unpopular bonds under Chapter 284 of the Texas Transportation Code. Chapter 284 includes Section 284.037(c), which provides:
“The authority to issue the revenue bonds is subject to the right of referendum provided by Section 252.045, Local Government Code.”
Section 252.045(b) of the Texas Local Government Code provides:
“If a petition [calling for a voter referendum] is not filed, the governing body may finally award the contract and issue the time warrants. In the absence of a petition, the governing body may, at its discretion, order the referendum.” (Emphasis added.)
There it is. Right there in the statute under which Doyal and Riley intend to stick these bonds to the citizens of Montgomery County so that they can funnel $95 million into the hands of their favored engineering firms and contractors. Right there, even though Riley has said repeatedly that the lawyers have told him that a referendum is not permissible. Right there, even though Doyal has said you can’t have a voter referendum for these types of bonds.
Right there, even though Muller, who is supposedly an expert in these types of matters, lied and told Noack and the Commissioners Court that the governing body may not order the referendum.
Muller lied to his client.
These guys will say and do anything to shove this tollroad down the throats of the citizens of Montgomery County.