Image: Montgomery County Judge Mark Keough has breached his “Contract with Montgomery County.” The voters will have a remedy in 2022 in the form of electoral defenestration.
“I will end the practice of granting preferential treatment to elected officials and their employees that does not apply to the citizens of this county.” – County Judge Mark Keough’s “Contract with Montgomery County”
The Golden Hammer Staff Reports
Conroe and The Woodlands, November 12 – Regardless of the pretextual excuse he conjures, Montgomery County Judge Mark Keough has grossly breached his “Contract with Montgomery County” when he arranged for the Montgomery County Commissioners Court on Tuesday, November 10, 2020, to vote to give him a private driver, bodyguard, and County vehicle.
Keough’s actions became necessary – in his view – because he cannot drive himself after the September 10 major car wreck he caused when he slammed his Lexus SUV into a parked police car and caused substantial injuries to the police officer and to himself. Keough had previously blacked out in 2017 in Austin and slammed his vehicle into another on that occasion.
While this newspaper has confirmed the real purpose of Keough’s full-time law enforcement officer is to drive him from his home in The Woodlands to his office in Conroe and back, as both his wife and his “chief of staff” were unwilling to provide that service, Keough tried to argue to the Commissioners Court on Tuesday that he needed the full-time police officer for security after an adherent of Jesus Christ scared the part-time evangelical pastor when the Christian man came into his County Judge Office.
There’s no question that Montgomery County, particularly during Keough’s tenure as County Judge, has become a place with many risks and scares. Keough, however decided to grant himself preferential treatment, as an elected official, and reward himself with a taxpayer-funded bodyguard, a driver, and a taxpayer-funded vehicle.
Keough ran on his “Contract with Montgomery County” in 2018. Many citizens voted for Keough specifically based upon his promise that “I will end the practice of granting preferential treatment to elected officials and their employees that does not apply to the citizens of this county.” Regardless of the pretext for Keough’s latest action in Commissioners Court, however, what is clear is that Keough has acted to grant himself preferential treatment, as an elected official. The County government does not provide personal bodyguards, drivers, and taxpayer-funded vehicles to any private citizens in Montgomery County.
Keough, particularly during 2020, has become an elected official who does not serve but rather rules. In his panic over the coronavirus, Keough issued mandates which clearly violated the Texas Government Code and the Texas Constitution, as a recent ruling by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has made clear: “County judges and mayors do not have independent authority to issue emergency orders carrying the force and effect of law, as this is not one of the powers granted to such local officials under section 418.108.” Keough directly violated those principles and instead issued emergency orders in March, 2020, which Keough claimed had the force and effect of law.
In his “Contract with Montgomery County,” Keough promised he would follow the principle that “Elected Officials are servants of the people. They do not rule, they serve.” Clearly, Keough has enjoyed power far too much and has elevated his own status, in his mind, from servant to ruler.