Image: County Commissioner Charlie Riley’s Horizontal 2-Step
Conroe, March 13 – County Treasurer Stephanne Davenport’s proposed “reorganization” of her Department on the agenda for tomorrow’s Commissioners Court meeting, and the circumstances surrounding it, legitimately create fears among the taxpayers that we’ll witness another instance of the “Charlie Riley Two-Step,” although this time involving County Judge Craig Doyal’s daughter, Lindsey Doyal, who works for Davenport.
How the Riley Two-Step Worked
Riley’s “Two-Step” is the means by which Riley created a new County employee position at one Commissioners Court meeting and then proceeded to fill that position with his wife, Deanne Riley, at a subsequent Commissioners Court meeting. Here’s the sequence of events that culminated in Riley’s “Two-Step” which certainly appears as though it’s direct nepotism.
Deanne Riley was the executive assistant to Sheriff Tommy Gage who retired on December 31, 2016. Sheriff-Elect Rand Henderson made clear to all employees that everyone in his management office, with no exceptions, would need to interview for their positions. Deanne Riley opted not to participate in the interviews, so Henderson did not keep Deanne Riley as his executive assistant. Those facts were well known as long ago as the March 1, 2016, Republican Primary Election when people at the polls discussed the likelihood that Deanne Riley would leave the Sheriff’s Department.
As a result, at the November 22, 2016, Commissioners Court meeting, Commissioner Charlie Riley placed on the agenda and made the motion for creation of a new position for a receptionist to receive $58,000 per year (an exorbitant salary for such a position) within Precinct 5 Constable David Hill’s office. Constable Hill’s office is adjacent to Charlie Riley’s Commissioner’s Precinct office in Magnolia.
As Dodi Shaw, the County’s Human Resources Director, confirmed, Hill never posted or advertised for the new receptionist position. At the next County Commissioners Court meeting, on December 13, 2016, the Consent Agenda included a cryptic item “Approve Payroll Change Request Forms” which provided the public no notice whatsoever what it concerned. The Publisher of The Golden Hammer, however, obtained the payroll change request forms which revealed that Deanne Riley was to receive the job her husband had created only a few weeks previously. At the December 13 meeting, Riley did not vote for the payroll change requests.
Charlie and Deanne Riley successfully completed the “Charlie Riley Two-Step.” Deanne Riley got the job! Riley used his position as a County Commissioner to create the new position since her employment relationship at the Sheriff’s Department didn’t work out.
County Treasurer Stephanne Davenport vehemently denies that she is following the “Riley Two-Step” to give Lindsey Doyal a raise or a promotion. The circumstances surrounding the proposed “reorganization” raise many concerns in that regard. First, the original Position Description Questionnaires (“PDQs”) that issued from Davenport’s Treasurer Department on September 6, 2016, had Lindsey Doyal’s name typed in as the person who would receive a promotion and raise to the new “Assistant County Treasurer” position. Later, Davenport removed Lindsey Doyal’s name from the PDQs and left all of the Department positions blank. She never has explained how this serious mistake might have occurred, however, an explanation which she clearly owes to the public.
Second, as recounted in a February 13, 2017, letter from Human Resources Director Dodi Shaw to the County Commissioners, Shaw and her Assistant Human Resources Director Kathy Flowers complained about their nepotism concerns in meetings in late 2016 with Davenport. At one of those meetings, Lindsey Doyal also attended and refused to leave the meeting after Shaw suggested that she might do so. Shaw also complained in her letter that, as of February 13, 2017, she still had concerns about the proposed “reorganization” but felt that County Judge Craig Doyal was targeting as a member of his “Hit List,” the group of County employees who supported Doyal’s 2014 Republican Primary Election opponent Mark Bosma.
As The Golden Hammer explained in an article on March 11, 2017 (“County Treasurer’s Embattled ‘Reorganization’ Highlights March 14 Commissioners Court Agenda”), there are substantive reasons that the proposed Treasurer Department “reorganization” should not proceed at this time.
Nevertheless, Davenport owes it to the public to confirm in the open Commissioners Court meeting that Lindsey Doyal, as nice a lady as she might be, will not be receiving a promotion or raise as a result of the proposal.