Image: Embattled County Treasurer Stephanne Davenport (left) and corrupt local political boss Marc Davenport (right).
Conroe, November 2 – James Metts and Wayne Mack, two Justices of the Peace in Montgomery County, have perpetuated corrupt local political boss Marc Davenport’s impersonation of a public employee for several years. Their actions would seem to raise the question whether Davenport, Metts, and Mack may have been involved with a violation of Section 37.11 of the Texas Penal Code, which makes it a third degree felony “to impersonate a public servant with intent to induce another to submit to his pretended official authority or to rely on his pretended official acts.”
Both Metts and Mack are part of the Davenport Ring, the group of elected officials and candidates, who follow Davenport’s directions with respect to the operations of their offices. Just recently, Precinct 4 Justice of the Peace candidate Jason Dunn has joined the Davenport Ring as Davenport’s latest “client.” Besides Metts, Mack, and Dunn, County Treasurer Stephanne Davenport, Marc Davenport’s wife, will also appear on the March 6, 2018, Republican Primary Election ballot.
County Human Resources Director Dodi Shaw has confirmed that there are no records in her Department that Davenport has ever been an employee of the Montgomery County government. In fact, Marc Davenport’s only official affiliation with the County government is that he is on Stephanne Davenport’s health insurance as a “dependent.”
Despite never actually being a County employee, Marc Davenport often participates in and even runs staff meetings of Mack’s employees in his Precinct 1 Justice of the Peace Department. Davenport has participated in Metts’ staff meetings in the Precinct 4 Justice of the Peace Department for many years, according to three employees of Metts who requested anonymity.
Davenport’s first public claim to have some sort of official capacity occurred in an August 29, 2003, article which appeared in the Houston Chronicle under the headline “New fees come as shock to drivers.” In that article, Metts explained that some new license fees may alter the manner in which Metts handles deferred adjudications of traffic cases. The article then contained the following quote: “If a driver accumulates 12 points within a three-year period, the driver’s license will be revoked, said Marc Davenport of the Precinct 4 Justice of the Peace office.”
“If a driver accumulates 12 points within a three-year period, the driver’s license will be revoked, said Marc Davenport of the Precinct 4 Justice of the Peace office.” Houston Chronicle, August 29, 2003.
Davenport directly spoke for Metts and the manner in which Metts would adjudicate a matter in another Houston Chronicle article just one year later on September 4, 2004, when Davenport claimed to be “a spokesman for Metts” and “said the court could not comment on the Gutierrez family’s situation because the case has not been tried. ‘The judge will give thoughtful consideration to all the information put before him,’ Davenport said.”
“Marc Davenport, a spokesman for [Judge] Metts, said the court could not comment on the Gutierrez family’s situation because the case has not been tried. ‘The judge will give thoughtful consideration to all the information put before him,’ Davenport said.” Houston Chronicle, September 4, 2004.
It seems more than troubling that Davenport – or anyone else – would assume the authority to speak for the manner that any judge would think in his future deliberation of a legal case before him.
Where Metts and Davenport got substantially bolder in their claim that Davenport works for Montgomery County’s government was during 2012 and 2013, when the County formed an employee committee entitled “the Integrated Justice Steering Committee” (IJIS) to research and evaluate integrated software to store, retrieve, and manage court data. Only County employees were to serve on the IJIS Committee, but Metts insisted that Marc Davenport, whom Metts introduced as a “sworn deputy” in his Justice of the Peace Office, be permitted to participate in the meetings as well. Several employees who attended IJIS meetings, but have requested confidentiality of their identities, have described Davenport as “creepy,” “sleazy,” and “demanding.”
Judge Metts’ repeated appellation of Davenport as a “sworn deputy” in the Precinct 4 Justice Court is a interesting use of terminology to say the very least. Metts began to utilize the term when other County employees questioned why Metts insisted that Davenport, who is not a County employee or a licensed peace officer, should remain in County employee-only meetings to discuss and make decisions concerning the Courts’ database system. Those meetings eventually led to Metts’ and Davenport’s establishing a business relationship with Graves Humphries Stahl law firm and its NetData database system for the purpose of collection of fees and fines from four of the five Justice of the Peace courts in Montgomery County. Precinct 3 Justice of the Peace Edie Connelly has refused to allow the NetData system to come into her office for ethical and financial reasons. Connelly’s fees and fines collections are strikingly more efficient than the other four Justice of the Peace courts.
Meanwhile, Davenport regularly directs a number of County employees including the following examples:
- Davenport regularly orders County Judge Craig Doyal to remove items from the proposed Commissioners Court Agenda for Commissioners Court meetings. Doyal follows Davenport’s orders.
- Davenport instructs employees in the County Treasurer’s Office with respect to job duties.
- Davenport has been intimately involved with Montgomery County Sheriff Rand Henderson in preparing his five-year “strategic plan” and in Henderson’s implementation of that plan within the Sheriff’s Office. Davenport has admitted to numerous individuals that he has knowledge of pending criminal investigations as a result of his work inside the Sheriff’s Office.