Conroe, October 30 – Over this past weekend, three current employees of the Montgomery County District Clerk’s Office provided carefully-kept attendance data showing District Clerk Barbara Gladden Adamick’s startling absenteeism during the past three years. Eight current employees in the District Clerk’s Office compiled data and provided it to The Golden Hammer on the condition of anonymity.
Just during the last week alone, Adamick, who receives an annual salary of $126,189, plus County benefits of approximately $50,854 per year, for total compensation of $177,043 per year, worked 12.5 hours as follows:
- Monday, October 23, 2017 – absent
- Tuesday, October 24, 2017 – absent
- Wednesday, October 25, 2017 – arrived 10:25 a.m., left 11 a.m., came back 2 p.m., left 5 p.m. – 3.5 hours total
- Thursday, October 26, 2017 – arrived 2:30 p.m., left 5 p.m. – 2.5 hours total
- Friday, October 27, 2017 – arrived 10:25 a.m., left 5 p.m. – 6.5 hours total.
Work hours during past years
During calendar year 2015, Adamick worked a total of 616.75 hours, which averages to less than three hours per day. During calendar year 2016, Adamick worked slightly longer hours of 808.5 hours. During calendar year 2017, Adamick has worked 614 hours, averaging approximately 3.1 hours per day. The statistical compilation by all eight employees rounded all time increments up to the nearest quarter hour. If Adamick attended an out-of-office conference, the employees credited her with a full 8 hour work day. The District Clerk’s Office is open from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. five days per week for a total of 45 hours per week.
One of the employees told The Golden Hammer, “Ms. Adamick abuses the privileges of her position for her own benefit. She is wrong to do this. The citizens are owed a public servant who is working for them, not taking advantage of them.”
The eight employees, along with four former employees of the District Clerk’s Office, confirmed that Adamick has worked comparable periods of time during the past nine years since her daughter was involved in a serious motorcycle accident. All of the eight employees made clear that, on a personal level, they like or even adore Adamick, but they find her work habits very disturbing.
Work hours with respect to Swearingen execution error
On August 9, 2017, Visiting District Judge J.D. Langley, sitting for the 9th District Court, issued an Execution Order for Larry Ray Swearingen, who has been sitting on death row in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice since his June 28, 2000, death sentence for the December 8, 1998, murder of Melissa Trotter. The execution was to have occurred on November 16, 2017. For the past seventeen (17) years, the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office, representing the people of the State of Texas, has fought appeal after appeal through state and federal courts.
Judge Langley explicitly ordered Adamick in writing to send copies of his order and the Death Warrant, which Adamick was to sign and issue, “to the director of the Office of Capital and Forensic Writs” in his August 9 Execution Order. Adamick only worked five hours on Wednesday, August 9, 2017, from 12 noon until 5 p.m. Someone inside the District Clerk’s Office filed Judge Langley’s Execution Order in the papers of the District Clerk at 8:12 a.m., Thursday, August 10. Adamick did not arrive to work on August 10 until 11:15 a.m. and left the office that day at 2:20 p.m.
On August 10, a day when Adamick was only at the office for three hours in the middle of the day, one of her Deputy District Clerks signed the Death Warrant for Adamick but failed to send it to the Office of Capital and Forensic Writs in accordance with the judge’s Order and with article 43.141 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure. On October 25, 2017, the Office of Capital and Forensic Writs filed a motion to quash the execution date as a result of the failure to comply with the legal requirement. The District Attorney’s Office has not opposed the motion.
Adamick has referred to the major error as her employee’s mistake. Death Warrants are a rare document to come out of a District Clerk’s Office. It is troubling that Adamick would not have reviewed the Death Warrant for such a major case, especially after a District Judge ordered her in writing to send the papers to a specific office in the State government. It is unclear whether Adamick was in the office when her Deputy Clerk sent the Death Warrant to the wrong office, but Adamick was absent most of the day, August 10, when the error occurred.
Adamick, as head of the District Clerk Department, appeared at the July 27, 2018, Commissioners Court “budget workshop” at approximately 1:30 p.m. largely unprepared to make the presentation for her office. She exchanged some harsh words with Precinct 3 County Commissioner James Noack who made reference to her lack of preparation. Adamick requested raises for her entire office staff, even though the Commissioners Court had already made clear that raises would not occur during the budget hearings for Fiscal Year 2018.
That day, July 27, Adamick had arrived at the office at 9 a.m. After the Commissioners Court appearance, Adamick returned to her office and left the Courthouse at 2:30 p.m., for a total workday of 6.5 hours.
Nice lady, lengthy experience, and personal tragedy
Adamick has worked in the Montgomery County court system since 1975. She worked as a Deputy Clerk for longtime District Clerk Peggy Stevens and as a Court Coordinator for the 284th District Court when Olen Underwood was the District Judge of that court. In 1997, Adamick became the District Clerk by appointment when Stevens retired. Adamick ran for the countywide position in 1998 and has won election every four years since then. Adamick brought substantial reforms to the District Clerk’s Office and presided over a major increase in the size of that office to accommodate the County’s burgeoning litigation.
In recent years, however, Adamick’s office has fallen far behind the technology curve. Even those employees who are critical of Adamick’s work habits like her and appreciate the service Adamick has provided to Montgomery County.
In fairness, Adamick has had a very rough period in her life. On January 10, 2008, Adamick’s daughter and her daughter’s husband were involved in a terrible motorcycle accident on Calvary Road. Adamick’s son-in-law, a Conroe Police Sergeant, died in the accident, while Adamick’s daughter suffered serious head injuries until her death on September 13, 2017. No one could ethically fault Adamick for being a great mother to her ailing daughter. No one could question Adamick’s unconditional love for her daughter.
One of the great moves Adamick made was to train Melisa Miller, a 1996 graduate of Conroe High School as the Manager of the District Clerk’s Office. After Adamick encouraged Miller to run for the March 6, 2018, Republican Primary Election to take the office over from Adamick who had announced her retirement to many people inside and outside of the District Clerk’s office, on June 30, 2017, Adamick changed her mind and gave Miller an ultimatum either to drop out of the District Clerk race or lose her job. Instead, Miller requested a transfer to the County Clerk’s office and took a substantial pay reduction in her pay at the time.
Miller contends that Adamick had earlier encouraged Miller to run for District Clerk and told her that she intended to retire. Adamick told The Golden Hammer, “While I did encourage Melisa to start to attend Republican functions, I never told her that I was not going to run again in 2018. I’m disappointed in the way that Melisa handled this situation.” Miller, and two confidential sources inside the District Clerk’s Office, have told The Golden Hammer that Adamick did tell people inside the District Clerk’s Office that Adamick intended to retire and was endorsing Miller as her replacement. Adamick, of course, denies that.
District Clerk’s race
The filing period for the March 6, 2017, Republican Primary Election has not yet begun. It seems that there are three likely candidates for the District Clerk position in the March 6, 2017, Republican Primary: Adamick, Miller, and Cynthia Jamiesen, a homeland security planning for the Montgomery County Office of Emergency Management.
Adamick did not respond to this newspaper’s messages requesting comment.
Jamiesen made clear in her response to this newspaper that she does not wish to criticize Adamick. Jamiesen did, however, say “Anyone put into a leadership position should lead by example. Elected officials should not be exempt from putting in the same amount of time as their employees.”