Image: Terri Jaggers celebrating politics with husband Pat Jaggers.
Conroe, November 28 – As Ellis Redding said in The Shawshank Redemption, “oh how the money flowed.”
Introduction: bizarre Montgomery County Adoption Day (and Month) proclamations and Jaggers’ apology
On November 14, 2017, a funny thing happened in the Montgomery County Commissioner Courtroom, which turned out not to be so funny. A young man came before the five-member governmental body to read two proclamations which County Judge Craig Doyal had placed on the agenda and sponsored to proclaim November 15 as “Montgomery County Adoption Day” and November as “Montgomery County Adoption Month.”
No one in the entire Courtroom knew the young man with the exception of Doyal who congratulated him for just having passed the State Bar examination. The young man read the two proclamations, which included language supporting transgender adoptions and same-sex adoptions, out loud to the Commissioners Court. Doyal and the four Commissioners unanimously voted for the two proclamations, and then all five of them signed the two proclamations with the offending adoption language in them.
It turned out to be a sad event. Everyone should support adoptions, which are a wonderful way for children to find families and homes. Adoptions are, of course, a far more desirable option to some parents than abortions.
Amazingly, no one in the Courtroom noticed the offensive language in the two proclamations (with one exception). Two days later, The Golden Hammer, Montgomery County’s leading daily newspaper reported what happened. Please see “Doyal Defies GOP Platform, Supports Transgender Adoptions, Tricks Commissioners Court To Follow,” The Golden Hammer, November 16, 2017.
Of course, there was very rightly an outcry of protest. Doyal’s office received numerous protest telephone calls as did several other officials in the County government. Doyal knew he was in even deeper political trouble than he had already found himself before he sponsored the offensive proclamations.
Therefore, Doyal called upon one of his closest political allies, whom this newspaper admits never to having known of previously, to come to his aid: Terri Jaggers, a political contributor to Doyal’s political campaign and criminal legal defense funds, to take the “blame” for Doyal’s outrageous actions.
On Friday, November 17, Jaggers made a live video in which she tearfully apologized to Doyal, to Eric Yollick (the Publisher of this newspaper), to the County Commissioners, and to all of Montgomery County for the wording of the two proclamation resolutions. Jaggers claimed she had placed the language in the resolutions without reading it. Please see “High Noon Extra! CPS Board President Jaggers Apologizes For Adoption Resolutions, While County Judge, Commissioners’ Inattention Raises Major Issue Of Concern,” The Golden Hammer, November 17, 2017.
Since many people had never heard of Jaggers, since she was nowhere near the Commissioners Court when they voted on the two proclamations, and since no news reports had mentioned or even considered Jaggers with respect to the two offensive resolutions, it became clear very quickly that Jaggers took the blame to try to deflect it away from the already-politically-embattled Doyal. At first, Jaggers simply apologized, even to Yollick, but over the next few days she began to accuse Yollick and others of “throwing stones” at her, even though it’s unclear how that could have happened without even knowing who she was.
The rest was history. The Texas Pastors Council condemned Doyal and the two proclamations twice and called for subsequent resolutions revoking the offensive “anti-family” language in them. Thousands of citizens expressed outrage while some even demanded an emergency Commissioners Court meeting to revoke the two proclamations or at least amend them to remove the offensive language.
Jaggers’ strange conduct, both in hastily pushing the two proclamations on Doyal for the Commissioners Court agenda, getting Doyal immediately to agree to put those proclamations on the agenda, and then her self-lashing public apology raised a serious question.
What in the world is going on here?
What is going on here? Follow the money.
The answer which almost always explains the bizarre behavior of Craig Doyal and his Commissioners Court colleagues is: FOLLOW THE MONEY.
Here’s how it works.
Jaggers and her husband, Pat, live in Bentwater. Pat is an attorney and lists his law practice location as his home address inside the gated community. Pat Jaggers is primarily an adoption attorney.
The Jaggers have given a lot of money to Doyal and Precinct 1 County Commissioner Mike Meador over the years for their political campaigns and, of course, for Doyal’s criminal legal defense fund (for which he uses most of his campaign contribution dollars). Terri Jaggers campaigned aggressively for Doyal during the May, 2014, Republican Runoff Election to a degree that many of Mark Bosma (Doyal’s previous opponent) supporters remember how unfriendly she was towards them working in the same early voting parking areas to persuade voters.
In 2009, Meador and Doyal procured Jaggers’ appointment to the Montgomery County Child Protective Services Board (“CPSB”). Now, there are two relevant local organizations, the CPSB and the Child Welfare Board. No one with whom this newspaper spoke could explain the difference between the two boards, both of which Terri Jaggers is now President. Therefore, let’s just let CPSB’s website provide the explanation:
“In 2005, several Montgomery County leaders, companies, and agencies joined together resulting in Montgomery County, Texas becoming a leader in child welfare community partner relations throughout the United States. Those founding partners included: Terri Jaggers…In 2009, the Child Welfare Board created the Community Relations Committee. In 2010, the Community Relations Committee of the Montgomery County CPS/Child Welfare Board officially formed and integrated the community partners into what is now known as the Montgomery County CPS/Child Welfare Community Advisory Board (MC CPS Community Advisory Board).”
Apparently, CPSB and the Child Welfare Board are the same. That’s important, as the reader will see in a moment.
CPSB “advises” and oversees the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services office in Conroe, also known as “CPS,” which is a state agency that claims to protect children from their parents or other domestic situations. CPS routinely takes children away from their parents, sues the parents in court to terminate the parent-child relationship, places the children in foster homes, and, in some instances, arranges for adoptions of the children.
CPSB, the local oversight entity, has a lot of influence. First, CPSB can guide the choice of agencies which will help particular children. Second, CPSB oversees the parental termination and adoption processes. Third, CPSB can indirectly influence the appointment of adoption attorneys.
Doyal and Meador appointed Jaggers who had already headed the Child Welfare Board to the CPSB. Jaggers soon became the CPSB President and, thanks to Doyal and Meador, received two subsequent reappointments. Terri Jaggers very much dominates the child adoption process in Montgomery County.
Her Child Welfare Board, which is now part of the CPSB, receives $112,450 of tax dollars from the Montgomery County government each year. In the Fiscal Year 2018 Budget, the Child Welfare Board explains that its mission is the following “The mission of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services is to protect the unprotected.” Strangely, that’s not the mission of the CPSB, which is only a local board. That’s the state agency’s mission!
Still, one wonders what the Jaggers could possibly get out of their adoption work other than enjoying the good feelings of helping children with loving kindness.
It turns out that there is a lawyer who receives the “lion’s share of CPS attorney adoption appointments” (to quote a Court staff officer). That lawyer is none other than Pat Jaggers.
Adoptions have become quite a nice payday for Pat Jaggers. He receives $1,200 for every adopted child in an adoption case he handles. It’s not pro bono work! The State of Texas Department of Family and Protective Services pays Jaggers those fees for each adoption. In other words, the taxpayers pay Jaggers.
Therefore, The Golden Hammer, being the newspaper that asks the unpopular questions in this community, asked: how much money did Pat Jaggers make in Montgomery County courts from CPS adoptions on November 15, 2017, which, thanks to Doyal, was “Montgomery County Adoption Day”?
The docket for the CPS Cluster Court shows that Jaggers handled 17 adoptions that day at $1200 per adoption. Pat Jaggers made $20,400 in one short afternoon of adoption work!
Jaggers also receives the “lion’s share” of CPS attorney adoption appointments in Harris County. Today, however, Jaggers will be in Montgomery County handling more CPS adoption cases here.
Additionally, the Jaggers operate two nonprofit organizations that work closely with CPS. While several individuals, who requested anonymity, have told this newspaper that the Jaggers receive compensation from those nonprofits, this newspaper has not been able to confirm those facts at press time.
Terri and Pat Jaggers enjoy numerous social gatherings around Montgomery County. Any “establishment” political event will usually include the Jaggers among the glitterati. They live the good life. Their financial investment in the Commissioners Court and their political investment in its members have most certainly paid off.
“Oh how the money flowed.”