Image: Conflict of Interest: The Commissioners Court members will vote to give $5 million to themselves as the Montgomery County Tollroad Authority, in order to inhibit County taxpayer rights to initiate a petition to stop the TX 249 Tollway.
Conroe, April 23 – Precinct 2 Montgomery County Commissioner Charlie Riley, County Judge Craig Doyal, tollroad lawyer Rich Muller of Sugar Land, and voraciously-money-hungry County vendor Bobby Jack Adams (regional vice president of Halff Associates, Inc., and the best friend and business partner of Doyal) intend to plunder $5 million from County taxpayers on Tuesday, April 24, 2018, so that they can try to cut off County taxpayer rights to initiate a petition to stop issuance of revenue bonds for the TX 249 Tollway, also known as the Decimation of Hope Highway project, the 3 mile tollroad project in which they’re hoping to funnel between $76 million and $129 million to Riley’s and Doyal’s favored criminal defense fund contributors and vendors.
The Commissioners Court would make a better-than-market-terms commercial loan to the Montgomery Toll Road Authority (MCTRA) for $5 million. The Commissioners Court members all serve on the Board of Directors of MCTRA, so Riley, Doyal, Commissioner Mike Meador, Commissioner James Noack, and Commissioner Jim Clark will all be acting as both the lender and the borrower in the same transaction! The Commissioners Court members who don’t recuse themselves will be engaging in a gross conflict of interest when they act to approve the plundering of $5 million from County taxpayers.
Lame duck Doyal, who is already in the process of setting up a consulting, marketing, and lobbying firm with Halff Associates and Adams among his clients after he leaves office, has placed the following item on the Commissioners Court agenda for Tuesday, April 24, 2018:
“CONSIDER AND APPROVE FIRST AMENDMENT TO REIMBURSEMENT AGREEMENT BETWEEN MONTGOMERY COUNTY AND MONTGOMERY COUNTY TOLL ROAD AUTHORITY.”
Doyal, Riley, Muller, and Adams are hiding the so-called “First Amendment” from other members of the Commissioners Court and the public, but The Golden Hammer has confirmed, through multiple sources, that the amendment involves a below market interest rate loan of $5 million from the County government’s general revenue fund to MCTRA. The current version of the amendment has no terms of repayment.
You might wonder why Doyal and Riley are in such a hurry to shove the Decimation of Hope Highway project down the throats of Montgomery County taxpayers. There are several reasons:
- Doyal has lost re-election. He’ll be leaving office no later than December 31, 2018. He wants to make sure he funnels the TX 249 Tollway funds into the hands of Jones & Carter and Halff Associates before he leaves office.
- Riley will likely lose re-election in the May 22 Runoff Election to reformist challenger and conservative Republican Greg Parker. Riley doesn’t have a job lined up yet for next year but he wants to show his loyalty to his true backers, the engineering firms who have paid for his criminal legal defense and provided him so many comforts and emoluments of office.
- Under Chapter 284 of the Texas Transportation Code, voters can present a petition to the County government to require a referendum on the proposed revenue bonds for the $76 million to $129 million TX 249 Tollway project until the County government has “let” the contract for the Tollway. Therefore, Doyal, Riley, Muller, and Adams hope to cut off the voters’ rights to petition for a referendum by “letting” a portion of the contract up to the $5 million they’re plundering from the taxpayers. It’s a highly questionable legal maneuver, but since they’re using the taxpayers’ money, Riley and Doyal don’t seem to care about the risk.
- Riley has repeatedly promised that he would allow voters to approve the use of taxpayer funds by a referendum before the County government ever used taxpayer funds for a tollroad. Since Riley has decided that he would rather lie to the voters than let down his cronies and criminal legal defense fund contributors, Riley seems happy to go along with the scam against the citizens of Montgomery County.
Riley and Doyal will take the $5 million and pay those funds to SpawGlass Construction out of Austin to begin construction on the 3-mile TX 249 Tollway. They hope that they’ll stop a citizen petition drive by taking that action.
Precinct 3 County Commissioner James Noack, however, has made clear that he intends to proceed with a voter petition drive, if Riley and Doyal don’t give the TX 249 Tollway project back to the State of Texas, which has already indicated the State would likely build the road as a free road, rather than a tollroad.