Image: Political “establishment” and family mix. Robert Walker, Precinct 1 County Commissioner Mike Meador’s cousin, at far right (blue shirt), along with Cousin Mike (far left), and a mix of family and politicians in between them.
Conroe, September 24 – Precinct 1 County Commissioner Mike Meador has nominated his cousin Robert Walker as Commissioner of the Montgomery County Housing Authority, although lame duck Montgomery County Judge tried to obfuscate the nepotism in the nomination by placing it under the “County Judge” portion of the agenda. While Meador’s nomination of his cousin to this position is not criminal, it’s certainly unethical and crass nepotism at its worst.
Meador is a County Commissioner very much dedicated to himself. He obtained a lucrative job for his brother Bill in the Building Maintenance Department. Meador named a road after himself: the “Mike Meador Parkway.” Meador obtained a job for his granddaughter in the County Probation Department. His wife’s best friend from childhood was the highest paid administrative assistant in the County government and among the ten highest paid employees of all, even receiving 200 hours of overtime per year, even though she clearly was an exempt employee. Her daughter, Angela Ford, is the lady who determines which light bulbs should go into County sockets, although, of course, screwing in those light bulbs is beneath. She leaves the screwing to people who actually work.
This newspaper reported last year that while Meador has been on the Board of Directors of the Montgomery Central Appraisal District, his son has enjoyed substantially lower property tax appraisals for his home than other people in his posh neighborhood near Lake Conroe.
Meador sits on a “slush fund” that he keeps off of the County Budget for each Fiscal Year that exceeds $10,000,000. Meador has used those funds for items such as “truck for Gerald” which appear in the dozens of “budget amendments” Meador sponsors each year and tries to hide within the secretive “consent agenda.”
Meador’s open nomination of his cousin Robert, however, may be one of the lowest of the unethical actions Meador has taken. Walker is planning to run for Meador’s job as Precinct 1 County Commissioner in the 2020 Republican Primary Election.
The agenda item under the County Judge’s list of agenda items merely reads:
“CONSIDER AND APPROVE THE APPOINTMENT OF ROBERT WALKER AS COMMISSIONER TO THE HOUSING AUTHORITY OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY, TEXAS.”
The backup material for it, however, reveals which member of the Commissioners Court is actually pushing the nomination, Cousin Mike:
Meador, Doyal, and Precinct 2 County Commissioner Charlie Riley are unabashed in their nepotistic practices. Doyal has pushed his daughter into various positions throughout the County government, eventually landing her as a payroll manager for County Treasurer Stephanne Davenport. Doyal regularly votes for raises for his daughter on the Commissioners Court.
Riley employs his nephew within his Precinct 2 Commissioner’s Office. In October and November, 2016, Riley created a new receptionist position in the Precinct 5 Constable’s Office when it became apparent that his own wife, Deanne Riley, was going to lose her job as a secretary inside the Sheriff’s Office. The next month Riley and his close political ally Precinct 5 Constable David Hill put Deanne Riley into the position without any interviews of Deanne or any other candidates for the position. Deanne Riley makes more than $58,000 per year, plus about $25,000 in employee benefits, as a part-time receptionist for Hill.
Since Meador, Doyal, and Riley comprised a majority of the Commissioners Court when the Court adopted a Code of Ethics in February, 2017, there is nothing prohibiting Meador’s appointment of his cousin in the unenforceable Code of Ethics.
Montgomery County’s government continues its reputation as the most corrupt County government in Texas. Meador’s nomination of his cousin as Commissioner of the Housing Authority will receive Commissioners Court approval during the Tuesday, September 25, 2018, Commissioners Court meeting at 9:30 a.m. on the Fourth Floor of the Sadler Administration Building.
Meador did not return telephone inquiries for this article.