TOP TEN MOST POWERFUL PEOPLE IN MONTGOMERY COUNTY #1: BRETT LIGON, DISTRICT ATTORNEY.
In “The Prince,” Nicolo Machiavelli observed, “It is better to be feared than loved, if you cannot be both.”
Powerful people, influential people, and people active in the civic and business affairs of Montgomery County fear Brett Ligon.
Regular citizens fear and love Brett Ligon.
District Attorney Brett Ligon is the most powerful person in Montgomery County at the present time. For the purpose of this discussion, I generally define “power” as the ability to get things done in our community. So if someone has specific business or political goals and can get them done for himself or herself or for others, then they have power.
Ligon possesses at least three sources of power. First, he is an outstanding politician. He plays masterfully to the citizens who want an approachable District Attorney who listens to the will of the community. In this community, voting citizens largely believe that they want a DA who vigorously prosecutes those accused of committing crimes. Ligon is personally friendly and is someone who knows how to engage one-on-one as well as when he’s appearing before large groups. He’s got charisma.
Second, Ligon has developed a strong relationship with the four predominant groups who elect county leaders: the Tea Party organizations, Republican women, the law enforcement community, and business leaders. Ligon spends much time and energy ensuring those constituent groups are well aware of his work and his dedication to the safety of the public. Ligon keeps those groups happy.
Third, quite simply, Ligon does a great job as a prosecutor-politician. He’s hired a superb group of assistant district attorneys and other professionals to work in his office. Many of the attorneys who prosecute for Ligon have received national recognition for their work. Ligon spends enormous time maintaining a high degree of training and professionalism among the people in the District Attorney’s Office. Prosecutors have a tremendous amount of discretion. Ligon and his top lieutenants have done a wonderful job carefully teaching those prosecutors how to exercise their discretion with finesse, fairness, and consistency.
There’s an overarching sense of ethics that Ligon has attempted to teach other county officials, but his students are like a group of adolescent 15-year-olds too hormonal to focus on the intricacies of second-year algebra. In April, 2013, Ligon told the County Commissioners Court: “I’ve tried to give you some solutions. I’m hoping you accept the challenge of ethical reform. I hope you don’t continue to use the DA’s Office as a backstop to try to figure out whether or not it’s OK.” Since that time, County Judge Craig Doyal, Commissioner Charlie Riley, Commissioner Jim Clark, and Commissiner Mike Meador have played fast and loose with ethics. They’re starting to pay a dear price, since Ligon’s words of wisdom have inspired many citizens to become active in scrutinizing the uncontrolled spending, nepotism, corruption, and backroom dealing which the “axis of evil” (Doyal, Riley, Clark, Meador) seem to be foisting on Montgomery County citizens. Ligon set a standard for ethical conduct. The citizens took Ligon’s charge and have acted upon it. It might very well be too late for the “axis of evil” members to save their political careers, since the Ligon- and citizen-inspired transparency is revealing some pretty dirty dealing.
Brett Ligon has helped to empower the citizens of our community by spurring them to observe their government closely and by protecting their public safety. He’s helped the law enforcement community by giving them a lot of support. Ligon clearly has the ability and the potential to get a lot of things done in Montgomery County. Our County government needs all of the help it can get.
Congratulations to District Attorney Brett Ligon for making the Top Ten List as #1.
THE TOP TEN MOST POWER PEOPLE IN MONTGOMERY COUNTY LIST:
#1 Brett Ligon, District Attorney.
#2 Kevin Brady, Congressman.
#3 Julie Turner, President, Texas Patriots Tea Party PAC.
#4 Robert Marling, Chairman and CEO, Woodforest Financial Group.
#5 Mike Meador, County Commissioner, Precinct One.
#6 Don Stockton, CISD Superintendant
#7 James Noack, County Commissioner, Precinct Three.
#8 Phyllis Martin, County Auditor.
#9 Bobby Adams, Civil Engineer.
#10 Rand Henderson, Sheriff-Elect.