Eric Yollick, The Golden Hammer
Although we’re all relieved that, as a community, we don’t have to deal with another pending Charlie Riley criminal indictment. One is enough for a Montgomery County Commissioner who should treat his office as a trust and treat the citizens of Montgomery County as his bosses with whom he’s open and honest.
There’s the problem with Charlie Riley, however. He’s willing to say anything, because he doesn’t believe he’ll get caught.
This time, however, Riley lied to the citizens of Montgomery County. Along with Riley, his social party planner Kristin Nichole, who writes for the language-challenged County Commissioner, participated directly in the deception.
There’s no gray area with respect to the ethics of lying. Lying is wrong, particularly when one is lying to the voters and potential voters just before a serious election.
On November 1, 2018, The Golden Hammer broke the story that the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office was investigating the already-criminally-indicted Precinct 2 County Commissioner with respect to new allegations by some County employees that Riley abused government property.
As this newspaper reported, but, of course, no other media sources would report (since they “work for the governors, not the governed”), Riley was in a panic before the November 6, 2018, General Election, as he told several Montgomery County government employees about the new investigation pending against him.
On Saturday, November 3, 2018, Riley decided to perpetrate the ultimate deception. Knowing that it was the District Attorney’s Public Integrity Division and the Precinct 5 Constable’s Office who were investigating him, Riley instead called Montgomery County Sheriff Rand Henderson and asked Henderson if the Sheriff’s Office was investigating him (already knowing that the answer was “no”). Henderson confirmed with The Golden Hammer that he told Riley that the Sheriff’s Office was not investigating Riley, but Sheriff Henderson also explained to the deceitful County Commissioner that Henderson only spoke for his own Department and not for other law enforcement agencies.
Early that afternoon, in an attempt to provide Riley with a balanced presentation of the circumstances involving the criminal investigation pending against him, this newspaper contacted Riley by text message to his personal cellphone and asked, “Commish, I’m doing a story that MCSO is not investigating you but only the DA. Would you like to comment?” Riley did not respond.
Approximately 20 minutes later, Riley and Nichole attempted to preempt this newspaper’s story by making the following post on social media where the already-criminally-indicted Riley intentionally misled the public:
In actuality, Riley called Henderson. But that’s not the point.
As Riley has done on previous occasions, he took a small kernel of truth to try to defeat a much larger point of reality. While it’s correct the Sheriff’s Office is not involved in the investigation of Riley formally, because the District Attorney’s Public Integrity Division’s investigators and prosecutors are taking the lead on this occasion, Riley is in fact under investigation for alleged criminal conduct (other than the criminal indictment he already faces under the Texas Open Meetings Act.)
The DA, not the Sheriff, was proceeding with the investigation of Riley, as District Attorney Brett Ligon’s Press Release, yesterday, February 14, 2019, confirmed.
Riley knew that the DA, the Constable, and the Montgomery County Grand Jury were investigating him. Nevertheless, he directly lied to the voters and told them he was not under investigation. In fact, since yesterday, more than a dozen Precinct 2 voters told this newspaper that Riley lied directly to them during the four or five day period immediately before the November 6 General Election.
Riley is correct that “lies are harmful to our political process.” The timing of his and Nichole’s reckless lies were particularly harmful to the entire Montgomery County community as well as to the Republican Party for whom Riley (sadly) was a standard-bearer.
Riley and Nichole both should apologize to the community of Montgomery County. They should assure us that the lies and crass manipulation will come to and end.