Image: The Montgomery County Commissioners Court held their little tollroad meeting on Tuesday, June 26, 2018, in one minute and 44 seconds during which they awarded $4.7 million of contracts to close pals of Montgomery County Judge Craig Doyal and Precinct 2 County Commissioner Charlie Riley. They don’t care; it’s “other people’s money”!
Conroe, July 5 – In less than two minutes, Montgomery County Judge Craig Doyal and Precinct 2 County Commissioner skanked the citizens of Montgomery in the amount of $4.7 million. They were hoping that no one, including their colleagues on the Commissioners Court, would catch them by secreting the name of a major contractor with Montgomery County on the Commissioners Court Agenda.
Just like con men you see in movies, when the worst portions of the skanking occurred, Doyal and Riley spoke the fastest. The worst skanking occurred with item 3D entitled:
CONSIDER AND TAKE APPROPRIATE ACTION ON CHANGE ORDER NO. 2 TO P.O. 2015228 IN THE AMOUNT OF $376,000 FOR ADDITIONAL SCOPE OF WORK TO PROVIDE COORDINATION, CONSTRUCTION OVERSIGHT, TOLLING IMPLEMENTATION AND OPERATIONAL ASSISTANCE TO MCTRA THROUGHOUT CONSTRUCTION (NEW PRICE $2,721,000).
There were several interesting aspects to this skanking maneuver by Doyal and Riley:
- Nowhere in the Agenda did Doyal or Riley identify who the contracting vendor with Montgomery County’s government is of “P.O. 2015228.”
- Nowhere in the Agenda or attached to the Agenda as backup was there a copy of the “Change Order” upon which the Commissioners Court voted.
- Nowhere in the Agenda or otherwise was there any specificity for the actual scope of work of this mysterious County vendor.
Now, remember, the entire discussion of the tollroad was one minute and 44 seconds. That meant that the discussion of Agenda Item 3D was only about 50 seconds long.
Interestingly, the Commissioners Court had already approved a $3,424,625.00 contract to HDR Engineering to provide the project management and construction management services for the $107 million, 3 mile, TX 249 Tollway, also now known as the Marc Lawrence Davenport Tollroad. The Commissioners Court had approved a $430,000 contract for Associated Testing Laboratories, the principles of which are major political contributors to Doyal and Riley. The Commissioners Court had also approved a $430,000 contract for Terracon Consultants, Inc.
Doyal and Riley had failed to attach any of those gigantic contracts to the Agenda, so the three members of the Commissioners Court who voted to approve the multi-million dollar contracts voted blindly.
All of those approvals were by 3 to 2 votes, with Precinct 3 County Commissioner James Noack and Precinct 4 County Commissioner Jim Clark dissenting.
But at least the Commissioners Court had some idea of the vendor with whom they were voting to contract.
When Agenda Item 3D came, Doyal started talking substantially faster than he had previously, just as any skanking maneuver would require.
Doyal rapidly said, “Item D. CHANGE ORDER Is there a motion to approve the change order?”
Riley responded as a good henchman would, “Moved.”
Meador added, “Second.”
Doyal. “Comments. All in favor.” There was absolutely no pause between the word “Comments” and the words “All in favor.” Doyal had no intention whatsoever of allowing any discussion of a change order with this shadowy unknown County vendor.
The vote was once again 3 to 2, but this time, not only had the Commissioners Court approved a giant contract blindly, but this time they didn’t even know the identity of the vendor!
Who is the contract with under the mysterious Purchase Order 2015228?
If you’re an experienced reader of this newspaper, you’ll, of course, know the answer: Halff Associates, Inc., the engineering firm of Bobby Jack Adams, the best friend and business partner of County Judge Craig Doyal! Adams and Halff organized Doyal’s criminal legal defense fund and helped Doyal hire Houston criminal attorney Rusty Harden to defend Doyal and, indirectly, Riley in their criminal indictments for allegedly conspiring to circumvent the Texas Open Meetings Act. Adams and Doyal were business partners in the company named WS&G, which they ended last year. They remain co-owners of a large stake in Superall Environmental, a service firm for companies that do contracting with governmental entities.
Immediately after approving the Halff Associates Change order to bring the total Halff Contract to $2,721,000, the Commissioners Court voted 3 to 2 to pay Rich Muller, the tollroad lawyer, an additional $48,500.
Since Halff was the “project manager” prior to the construction began for the Marc Lawrence Davenport Tollroad, one must question what Halff even managed during that time period. Since the Commissioners Court just hired HDR Engineering to provide the project management services for the construction phase of the highway boondoggle, one must question why the County government would need the services of Halff at this point in the project at all.
The answer? In providing the legal defense fund for Doyal, and ultimately, Riley, Halff obviously is gathering substantial resources for Doyal’s benefit.
Doyal’s and Riley’s skanking of the citizens of Montgomery County – and the remainder of the Commissioners Court – is just another example of the adage “Follow the money.”