Magnolia and Conroe, April 9 – Greg Parker, who is the conservative reform candidate in the May 22, 2018, Republican Runoff Election against Precinct 2 County Commissioner Charlie Riley, has called into question the ethics of Riley’s approval of a plat where the surveyor is a member of the so-called “Charlie Riley Band,” the political group that Riley uses to perform in the Magnolia area while using the property and facilities of the Magnolia Independent School District.
Riley has placed the approval for the final plat of Magnolia Cove on the April 10, 2018, Commissioners Court agenda, after he, County Engineer Mark Mooney, and Director of Environmental Services Scott Nichols conditionally approved it. Nichols conditioned his approval on meeting two environmental conditions which the developer and surveyor have not yet met.
“It may not be wrong by law, but this situation with C&C Surveying is another example of Charlie Riley’s ethical ambiguity that the District Attorney [Brett Ligon] was talking about last week.” Parker is running on a reform platform in which he has called for a strong Code of Ethics and an end to conflicts of interest and the appearance of conflicts of interest.
Ligon told The Golden Hammer last week, “As a separate matter from the result of the criminal investigation, speaking for myself, the Commissioners Court appears to be bereft of a moral compass. ‘Chicanery’ is such a great word to describe them, because it deals with political obfuscation in dealing with the public. I join with MCLEA [the Montgomery County Law Enforcement Association] in believing it’s time for a change. They have a good County Attorney and they fail to listen to his advice. As long as their activity is constantly skirting the criminal law, they’re going to be investigated and their activity is going to be brought into question.”
Republican Party Precinct Chair Ginger Russell, whom Ligon characterized as “honest and sincere,” added, “This situation with the surveyor is just another friend deal. The surveyor has a Riley campaign sign in front of his office. He plays the guitar for the so-called ‘Charlie Riley Band’ and we all know what that is.”
Riley stuck the Magnolia Cove plat approval on the super-secretive “consent agenda” so that the Commissioners Court will not discuss the matter. Since the approval involves conferring a benefit on a member of Riley’s political “band,” Riley should, of course, recuse himself from the vote.