Conroe, March 3 – “Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s ruling is exactly in accordance with the advice we gave County Treasurer Stephanne Davenport 90 days ago,” said Montgomery County Attorney J.D. Lambright of the official State of Texas decision ordering Davenport to release her office procedures manual that she attempt to withhold from public view in early December, 2017. Lambright’s comments came on the heels of the social media posts of a family of convicted felons (who served federal prison time for stealing money from victims of Hurricane Katrina).
As corrupt County Treasurer Davenport and her husband, local political boss Marc Davenport, work closely with the family of convicted felons, it’s no surprise that the Davenports have attempted to spin the Attorney General’s ruling against them as though they had no problem whatsoever with releasing portions of the procedures manual. In fact, during the first ten days of December, the Davenports instructed Assistant County Attorney John McKinney to file suit against the State of Texas and against the Attorney General in order to ensure the document never became public.
Lambright told The Golden Hammer in an exclusive interview yesterday afternoon, “I’m going to offer my staff to perform the minimal redactions of personal information the Attorney General allowed – and that we had advised the County Treasurer 90 days ago – in order to expedite the release of her procedures manual to the public. So far, however, I haven’t heard from the County Treasurer if she wants our assistance.”
The ruling by the Attorney General is a major setback for Davenport who filed an extensive legal brief with the State to argue that her entire office procedures manual should be exempt from public disclosure under the Open Records/Public Information Act, after Conroe ISD Board President Melanie Pryor Bush and one other requestor made a formal request for the disclosure of the document. “The Attorney General rejected every one of Stephanne Davenport’s arguments in her legal brief,” County Attorney Lambright explained.
“Davenport objected to making the entire 800 page document available, even after the redactions. She asked the Commissioners Court to declare the document a trade secret and presented a power point presentation in the Commissioners Court to that effect,” Lambright explained. The Commissioners Court declined to try to override the open records provisions of the Texas Public Information Act on December 5, 2017, after Davenport’s presentation.
Lambright said, “It makes no difference what the Commissioners Court thinks, because the Public Information Act makes the determination whether a government document is a public record.” Lambright complimented Assistant County Attorneys John McKinney and Sarah Stallberg for their work on this matter.
“Ms. Davenport asked us to file a legal brief with the Attorney General arguing against the release of the entire procedures manual to the public. We declined to do that for her, because we have our own ethical standards in the County Attorney’s Office, and that was an entirely frivolous argument,” Lambright added.