Image: Precinct 2 Montgomery County Commissioner Charlie Riley continued to ignore the seriousness of the ESD #10, Magnolia Volunteer Fire Department sex and financial improprieties scandal at the Tuesday, March 9, 2021, Commissioners Court meeting.
The Golden Hammer Staff Reports
Conroe and Magnolia, March 10 – Willful secrecy and ignorance plagued Precinct 2 Montgomery County Commissioner Charlie Riley and the rest of the Commissioners Court during the March 9, 2021, meeting. Although Riley moved to the open part of the meeting any discussion of the appointment of an entire new Board to Emergency Services District #10 (ESD #10), after every one of the five Board Commissioners resigned in disgrace and scandal last week, Riley and the other members of the Court ultimately discussed nothing whatsoever about the serious corruption and improprieties, which have rocked ESD #10.
Emergency Services District #10 (ESD #10) finds itself embroiled in a sex and financial scandal, which resulted in:
- (1) the termination of Magnolia Volunteer Fire Department (Magnolia VFD) Chief Gary Vincent over his romantic relationship and promotion of his lover Elise Noriega to a lucrative $142,000 per year position as Assistant Fire Chief, even though she has no firefighting background,
- (2) a major whistleblower lawsuit, which former Assistant Chief Chuck Grant filed after Vincent terminated Grant for cooperating with law enforcement investigators who are looking into financial improprieties at Magnolia VFD,
- (3) the resignations of all five ESD #10 Commissioners, including former Montgomery County Sheriff Tommy Gage along with four other political allies of Precinct 2 Montgomery County Commissioner Charlie Riley, and
- (4) calls for Riley to resign for his failure to perform his oversight duties for ESD #10.
This newspaper broke the Magnolia VFD sex and financial scandal on Tuesday, March 2, 2021. Please see “Sex, Diamonds, Misuse of Public Funds Sink Magnolia VFD Into Abyss of Treachery Under Terminated Chief Vincent,” The Golden Hammer, March 2, 2021, https://thegoldenhammer.net/sex-diamonds-misuse-of-public-funds-sink-magnolia-vfd-into-abyss-of-treachery-under-terminated-chief-vincent/
Late last week, every one of the Commissioners who have oversight and responsibility for ESD #10 and who are to oversee its operations and finances resigned. As this newspaper previously reported, Riley, who appointed the entire Board and has the duty to oversee its operations and finances, the Commissioners Court, which also bears the oversight responsibility, and Montgomery County Auditor Rakesh Pandey were all derelict in their duties in allowing the improprieties to occur.
On Tuesday, Riley said nothing other than “I appoint E Schulze, Jeff Cunningham, Larry Smith, Kelly Violette, and Charles McDonald.” The Commissioners Court then unanimously approved the appointments without any further discussion, any consideration of who the individuals are or why they might be qualified to clean up the ESD #10’s scandalous mess, or anything with respect to the terrible situation Riley, Pandey, and others have left the citizens of the Magnolia area who may depend upon the emergency services of ESD #10 or the Magnolia VFD.
One of the huge questions, Riley has failed to answer is “why would an emergency services district” ever need a public relations employee at all?! Noriega received a huge salary and a lofty position solely to post on Facebook and in NextDoor. If a person has an emergency, they’ll call 9-1-1. They don’t worry about whether the Fire Department has a nice Facebook page or posts friendly comments on NextDoor. The appointment of a public relations person to such a position should have raised red flags in the minds of Riley, the Commissioners Court, Pandey, all of the ESD #10 Commissioners, and all of the employees of ESD #10.
Corruption will continue, if it never sees the light of day, especially in the groupthink mindset ESD #10 and its Commissioners have revealed. It’s all part of the secretive mindset, which breeds corruption, that Riley and Montgomery County Judge Mark Keough have engendered to fulfill Montgomery County’s reputation as “the most corrupt county government in Texas.”