Image: On December 18, 2018, Terri Jaggers, convicted felon for Misappropriation of Trust Funds and convicted thief for stealing over $100,000 funds from orphans, President of the Montgomery County Child Welfare Board, President of Montgomery County CPS, gave the speech in tribute to disgraced former Montgomery County Judge Craig Doyal during his last meeting running the Commissioners Court.
Conroe, June 27 – It was a spectacular week for Montgomery County corruption.
On Tuesday, June 25, 2019, the Montgomery County Commissioners Court removed one of the most ethical leaders in the community, Montgomery County Republican Party Vice Chairman Reagan Reed, from an “ethics committee” which the Commissioners Court had established to pretend to have a “code of ethics” in order to continue to receive state funds from the Texas Department of Transportation. The ethics committee has never met, has never had a complaint before it, and has essentially no enforcement power whatsoever.
Precinct 4 Montgomery County Commissioner James Metts moved to remove Reed from the ethics committee, because, he explained, “…I believed I had confidence in him that he would make good decisions and he would be unethical in anything to come before him on the committee. I no longer have that confidence.”
At the same Commissioners Court meeting, the Court cut off many citizens speaking in favor of Reed during citizen comments while permitting citizens who spoke against Reed continuing to serve on the “ethics committee” to speak well past time limits set in advance. Clearly, the Commissioners Court found substantial disfavor with citizens speaking for ethics and wanted to encourage those who found disappointment that Reed “would [not] be unethical in anything to come before him on the committee.”
Then to make matters even worse during the Commissioners Court meeting, the Commissioners Court refused to permit a citizen comment during discussion of items on the agenda, because the agenda item concerned the super-secret consent agenda. Once again, the Commissioners Court will not bear discussion of the items on the consent agenda until a time during the Court meeting long after the Commissioners Court considered items on the agenda. When the citizen finally spoke near the end of the meeting, the specific agenda item within the super-secret consent agenda concerned the internal audit from Montgomery County Auditor Rakesh Pandey who found substantial payroll errors out of Montgomery County Treasurer Melanie Bush’s Office. Clearly, the whole incident with preventing a citizen to speak was an attempt to protect the elected elite from criticism.
The Commissioners Court never addressed the problem with Bush’s Office. Instead, the Court chose to sweep those matters under the rug of public opinion.
To add punctuation to an embarrassing week, the saga of Terri Jaggers, Commissioners Court-appointed Chair of the Montgomery County Child Welfare Board, President of Montgomery County Child Protective Services, and the President of at least two non-profit organizations which ostensibly raised money for orphans, began with her guilty plea to a felony conviction for Misapplication of Fiduciary Funds and a misdemeanor conviction for Theft. Jaggers admitted that she stole more than $110,000 from orphans and children in foster care, so that she could purchase jewelry for herself, go on plush trips with her husband, and improve her lavish home in Bentwater, along with other illegal expenditures.
The two convictions included the following punishments and other remedies:
As part of a plea agreement, Terri Jaggers was sentenced to the following:
Misapplication of Fiduciary Property(3rdDegree Felony):
- 7 Years Deferred Adjudication Probation – 9thDistrict Court
- Pay a $1,000.00 Fine / Serve 3 Days in the Montgomery County Jail
- Resign from all leadership Board positions, including the Montgomery County Child Welfare and CPS Boards, Hope’s Path, Pay It Forward, and the Texas Foster Family Association
- Pay $43,612.07 in Restitution to the Montgomery County CPS Board
- Pay $47,703.27 in Orphan Care Solutions remaining funds to the Montgomery County CPS Board
- Formally dissolve and terminate Orphan Care Solutions as a organization and 501(c)3 nonprofit
- Purchase a Generac Standby Generator (approximately value of $20,000.00) for Hope’s Path
- Transfer remaining Orphan Care Solutions vehicles and tangible property to Hope’s Path
- Agree to no future leadership involvement in 501(c)3 nonprofits or child welfare/orphan care/or foster care organizations
Theft (Class ‘A’ Misdemeanor):
- Straight Conviction / Serve 3 Days in the Montgomery County Jail
Jaggers reported to the Montgomery County Jail on Tuesday, June 25, at 3:47 p.m., but the Sheriff’s Office released her from Jail before 6 a.m. the next morning.
Around 11:30 a.m., on Wednesday, June 26, this newspaper raised Jaggers’ quick release with Montgomery County District Attorney Brett Ligon, who responded to that matter as well as the strikingly short jail sentence for Jaggers. Ligon said, “My personal belief is that Terri Jaggers should spend every day of 10 years in prison. Period. But the reality is that when you’re trying to negotiate and accomplish restitute, we need to do probation. The state’s authority comes from thoese critical conditions of probation.”
Ligon also expressed surprise at the short jail time for Jaggers. “When we asked the Judge to impose a 3-day sentence, we expected it would be two real nights in Jail.”
At the request of law enforcement officials, this newspaper waited approximately three hours before contacting Montgomery County Sheriff Rand Henderson. Henderson returned the telephone call of The Golden Hammer a few minutes before 5 p.m. on Wednesday, June 26. Sheriff Henderson also expressed surprise at Jaggers’ early release from the Montgomery County Jail.
Sheriff Henderson then explained, “We’re going to ensure that Ms. Jaggers is going to spend her second night and third day in the Jail.” The Sheriff said that Jaggers was to report to the Montgomery County Jail yesterday afternoon after he had admonished members of the Jail staff for “making an error” in releasing her.
The Golden Hammer did confirm that Jaggers returned to the Montgomery County Jail before 6 p.m. on Wednesday. Nevertheless, the Sheriff’s Office allowed Jaggers to stay in the infirmary rather than with the general jail population. Interestingly, Jail records appeared to reflect that Jaggers served continuously from Tuesday afternoon through the entire day on Wednesday, when, in fact, Jaggers spent most of Wednesday at her lavish Bentwater home.
Jaggers developed close ties with many of Montgomery County’s elected servants. In 2017, Jaggers successfully got the Montgomery County Commissioners Court to adopt two resolutions in a row which endorsed the adoption of children by transgender individuals. Despite misgivings of many individuals inside and outside of the foster care community, the Commissioners Court continued blindly to appoint Jaggers to leadership positions in the County government which enabled her defalcations of funds intended for orphans.
Jaggers and her husband, an attorney who enjoys a lucrative adoption law practice, regularly gave political contributions to many elected servants and invited them to gala fundraisers ostensibly for children.