Severely damaged Riley, Doyal lead horrible Montgomery County Commissioners Court meeting

Precinct 2 County Commissioner Charlie Riley hugged Montgomery County Judge Craig Doyal on May 22, 2018.

Conroe, June 4 – A severely politically-damaged Precinct 2 County Commissioner Charlie Riley and lame duck County Judge Craig Doyal led a horrible meeting of the Montgomery County Commissioners Court on Tuesday, May 22, 2018, at the Sadler Administration Building. Precinct 3 County Commissioner James Noack was the only other Commissioner Court member in attendance, as both Precinct 4 County Commissioner Jim Clark and Precinct 1 County Commissioner Mike Meador were absent from the meeting.

Doyal lost re-election in the March 6, 2018, Republican Primary Election, primarily because he has fatigued voters with his lack of ethics, secrecy, pushing forward with an unpopular and unnecessary TX 249 Tollway, unwillingness to address County spending, and ever-increasing County government taxes. Riley just barely won the Republican Runoff Election against a candidate who just recently moved to this community and was a political unknown until recently. Riley was able to eke out a win by turning out his Magnolia base while garnering almost no support from the rest of Commissioners Precinct 2.

Riley has chosen to isolate himself even further. Unlike County Judge Republican nominee Mark Keough who has sought out individuals who didn’t support him and even criticized him during the Republican Primary Election, Riley has made it clear that he will not speak with those who dared to oppose him. Riley has gone a step further than that even: he’s declared war on law enforcement and on conservative Republican Precinct Chairs.

Sadly, Riley’s Magnolia base is rapidly coming to the conclusion that Riley’s policies of awarding lucrative engineering contracts to his political cronies are precisely what has turned the City of Magnolia from a quaint and beautiful community into a traffic jam at almost all hours of the day other than late at night (when the crime rates in the Magnolia area have skyrocketed due in part to Riley’s antagonism towards local law enforcement.)

Both Riley and Doyal remain under criminal indictments, which, if convicted, would result in Riley’s automatic removal from office as a County Commissioner.

The Golden Hammer‘s ratings measure Commissioners Court votes that affect spending in comparison to the provisions of the Republican Party of Texas Platform. Points are good. The number of points depends upon the amount of money involved in each vote.

Commissioners Court meeting, May 22, 2018, 9:30 a.m. All Court members were physically present, with the exception of Precinct 1 County Commissioner Mike Meador and Precinct 4 County Commissioner Jim Clark.

Agenda Item 9A1: Consider and approve budget amendments to try to clean up the mess from the haphazard passage of the Fiscal Year 2018 Budget.

The Commissioners Court approved approximately $1.3 million in so-called Budget amendments on an “emergency” basis due to a “grave public necessity.” Of course, none of the members of the Commissioners Court have a clue what they’re voting to approve. Here’s the full list of the County Departments that are experiencing a “grave public necessity” and “emergency” (so they can pass Budget Amendments without having to allow the public to have a public hearing):

May 22, 2018, list of Budget Amendments with the declaration of an “emergency” and “grave public necessity” at the top.

These Budget Amendments are a relict of the haphazard fashion in which Riley and Doyal have rushed the budget process while they’ve been in office. As a result, they approve a Budget which is a complete mess. The Budget amendments included Noack pulling a cool $750,000 from his Budget slush fund.

This vote is major. 25 points. An appropriate vote is “No.” Of course, it passed 3 to 0.

DOYAL Yes

MEADOR Absent

RILEY Yes

NOACK Yes

CLARK Absent.

Agenda Item 9A2: Consider and accept the monthly unaudited financial report for the month of April, 2018.

The Commissioners Court approved a financial audit that the County Auditor failed to provide to them and failed to attach as backup material for the Commissioners Court agenda. Like lemmings, they approved the audit anyway. 5 points. An appropriate vote is “No.” It passed 3 to 0.

DOYAL Yes

MEADOR Absent

RILEY Yes

NOACK Yes

CLARK Absent.

Agenda Items 9A3:

This vote is major. 25 points. An appropriate vote is “No.”

DOYAL Yes

MEADOR Absent

RILEY Yes

NOACK Yes

CLARK Absent.

Agenda Item 9A3: Consider and approve payment of accounts. It should come as no surprise that no one checks the 109 pages of bills that the County Auditor, Phyllis Martin, has placed before the noses of the Commissioners Court to approve.

The total payments are $11,843,321.66, which sounds like a lot of money. It’s part of the job of Riley, Doyal, and the other Commissioners Court members to examine these accounts closely and have a good understanding of where the citizens’ money goes. Instead, they’re genuinely clueless.

Really. Ask one of them a question about something you found on “Payment of Accounts” backup material. None of them will be able to answer your questions. In 2016, the Publisher of The Golden Hammer met with Doyal and his “chief of staff” jim fredricks and asked them what the approximately $30 million per year payment for “internal service funds” is within the County government’s Budget. They were clueless and actually had to call the County Auditor in the meeting to ask her.

Largely as a result of the corrupt influence of political boss Marc Davenport, the Commissioners Court will squander $27,923.72 in payment to Graves Humphries law firm for alleged collection of JP court fees and fines. It’s a scam. The law firm does nothing but send a letter to each person convicted of a misdemeanor in the four of the five JP courts which use their alleged services. In actuality, as the statistics of the Texas Office of Court Administration reveal, the only means by which JP courts 1, 2, 4, and 5 actually collect those fees and fines is through issuances of warrants and requiring that people pay those warrants when they seek to renew their drivers licenses with the Texas Department of Public Safety. The County government pays separately for the Omnibase computer service which ties those fees and fine warrants to the Department of Public Safety database.

In actuality, as the much higher collections of JP3 (Judge Edie Connelly) reveal, the County is losing more than $880,000 per year is uncollected fees and fines that Judge Connelly is able to collect by not issuing warrants at all and by utilizing the services of the County government’s in-house collections group.

The payment to Graves Humphries is a total loss of $27,923.72 in funds, because they don’t do anything.

General revenue fund tax dollars flew out the door in the amount of $30,551.69 in payments to three engineering firms that are political cronies of Riley and Doyal for the $107 million, 3 mile, TX 249 Tollway.

Once again, it’s part of the super secretive “consent agenda.” The approval of these payments are another example of how members of the Commissioners Court don’t really pay attention to how they vote.

Major vote. 25 points. A “No” vote is appropriate. Passed 3 to 0.

DOYAL Yes

MEADOR Absent

RILEY Yes

NOACK Yes

CLARK Absent.

Agenda Item 9D: Purchasing. The Commissioners Court approved over $2 million of purchases without any review whatsoever. Many of the purchasing decisions are not even clear to which County Department they pertain. Major vote. 25 points. A “No” vote is appropriate. Passed 3 to 0.

DOYAL Yes

MEADOR Absent

RILEY Yes

NOACK Yes

CLARK Absent.

Agenda Item 9H: Consider and accept Payroll Change Request Forms.

Hidden completely from the public and from the Commissioners Court itself. This item is the means by which individual members of the Commissioners Court can hire whomever they feel like without any oversight. It’s a disgusting display of secrecy and “deep government” at work in our local community.

Major vote. 25 points. A “No” vote is appropriate. Passed 3 to 0.

DOYAL Yes

MEADOR Absent

RILEY Yes

NOACK Yes

CLARK Absent.

Agenda Item 11: Consider and approve mold remediation for Forensic Services Building at 205 Hillbig Road in Conroe. The County government received a mold report. As the United States Centers for Disease Control has noted, mold is rarely toxic. None of the mold the County found in the Forensic Services Building is toxic. The Building Maintenance Department failed to provide any rationale for the so-called “remediation” of the mold from the building. It’s just an excuse to spend between $22,000 and $30,000 of tax dollars. There was a collapsed ceiling but that didn’t occur from mold but rather from water damage and poor custodial and building maintenance. An appropriate vote would be “No” but, of course, it passed 3 to 0. 10 points.

DOYAL Yes

MEADOR Absent

RILEY Yes

NOACK Yes

CLARK Absent.

Agenda Item 12: Sheriff Henderson’s agenda item: CONSIDER AND APPROVE TRANSFERRING CADET POSITION 56018-5805-15 AND ASSOCIATED SALARY AND BENEFITS TOTALING $76,560.66 FROM THE SHERIFF’S BUDGET TO THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S BUDGET FOR INVESTIGATOR II POSITION NUMBER 4351-7802-17.

Normally, The Golden Hammer doesn’t include law enforcement items in the ratings, because they are and should be non-controversial. That changed on May 22, thanks to angry County Commissioner Riley.

Riley declared war against the law enforcement community, particularly the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office and the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office.

Riley was already enraged, because the Montgomery County Law Enforcement Association (MCLEA), the largest association of peace officers in this community, endorsed Riley’s electoral opponent former Comal County Commissioner Gregory Parker. It’s pretty clear that MCLEA endorsed Parker over Riley in the Republican Runoff Election, because Riley is in a mess of legal trouble. First, Riley is under criminal indictment for official misconduct for alleged violations of the Texas Open Meetings Act in his close cooperation and work with corrupt local political boss Marc Davenport and Doyal to fashion a secret deal to obtain passage of the November, 2015, road bond referendum. Second, Riley has engaged in an enormous pattern and practice of using government resources – both Montgomery County and the Magnolia ISD – for his personal use and for his political campaign. MCLEA’s Board of Directors caught Riley red-handed using his County government email address for his political campaign. That was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

There were two agenda items – one for Montgomery County Sheriff Rand Henderson and one for Montgomery County District Attorney Brett Ligon – on the May 22 agenda.

Sheriff Henderson’s agenda item was a budget and spending-neutral item to transfer a Sheriff’s Office cadet position and associated salary and benefits from the Sheriff’s Office Budget to the District Attorney’s Budget for an investigator II position. The proposal clearly showed work and cooperation between the two Departments, the Sheriff’s Office and the DA, and didn’t seem in the least bit controversial.

Sheriff Henderson came to the podium to read the agenda item in a monotone. Noack moved to adopt the proposal. Doyal asked if there was a second for the motion.

Riley sat silent and red-faced. Doyal announced, “The item dies for lack of a second.”

Sheriff Henderson looked over at Riley, then turned around and returned to his seat.

The vote was spending-neutral, but Doyal and Riley killed it anyway without a vote, because Noack’s motion died for lack of a second. Doyal and Riley both receive 100 point deductions for their childish behavior.

Agenda Item 13: District Attorney’s agenda item: CONSIDER AND APPROVE THE FOLLOWING CHANGES: CLOSE POSITION 4351-7610-5, COORDINATOR-VICTIM ASSISTANT AND OPEN POSITION 4351-3995-12, COURT CLERK IV AND TRANSFER $39,176.28. REMAINING FUNDS OF $9,986.34 TO BE LEFT UNSPENT IN FUND BALANCE.

District Attorney Brett Ligon’s agenda item was also budget neutral for Montgomery County taxpayers, because Ligon proposed to leave $9,986.34 of unspent funds in the fund balance after moving two positions around in his office to address appropriate needs.

First Assistant District Attorney Mike Holley went to the podium to read the agenda item. Once again, Noack moved to adopt the proposal. Doyal asked if there was a second for the motion. Once again, there was silence. Doyal seconded the motion himself (which is actually inappropriate under parliamentary procedure).

The vote then occurred with Noack and Doyal voting in favor of the District Attorney’s budget-positive proposal, while Riley voted against it! The motion carried on a 2 to 1 vote.

Riley didn’t provide any explanation for his two anti-law enforcement votes. He just voted against the needs of law enforcement.

Plank 21 of the Republican Party of Texas Platform provides “We proudly support our law enforcement agencies and their personnel.”

During the Republican Runoff Election, District Attorney Ligon commented on April 17, 2018, that he supported Parker in the contest, because, in an obvious negative reference to Riley, “The reason I’m here is that I know that Commissioners shouldn’t threaten the DA. They shouldn’t say that they’ll take the scalp of the DA.  County Commissioners shouldn’t threaten me. That’s why I’m here for Greg Parker. Greg never lied to me.”

Apparently, Riley has made remarks in the earshot of Ligon that threatened the District Attorney and suggested that Riley would “take the scalp of the DA.”

Riley’s votes in the May 22 Commissioners Court meeting had no policy or merit basis whatsoever. Riley appeared to take those two actions out of personal anger at the law enforcement community which has expressed legitimate concerns about Riley’s conduct.

Riley did not respond to a request for comment.

The item passed on a 2 to 1 vote. 100 points. A “Yes” vote was appropriate.

DOYAL Yes

MEADOR Absent

RILEY No

NOACK Yes

CLARK Absent.

Agenda Item 15: Tax Assessor-Collector Tammy McRae wanted to spend $590,000 on security for her office. This contract went out without bids. The price was ridiculous. A “No” vote was appropriate. 25 points.

DOYAL Yes

MEADOR Absent

RILEY Yes

NOACK Yes

CLARK Absent.

With nothing controversial, Doyal and Riley turned the meeting into an ugly one. They’re two very angry men.

Commissioners Court ratings for May 22, 2018, meeting:

DOYAL 100/265, Grade F.

MEADOR 0/265, Grade F.

RILEY -100/265, Grade F.

NOACK 100/265, Grade A.

CLARK 0/265, Grade A.

The following are the cumulative scores for Fiscal Year 2018, which began October 1, 2017.

DOYAL -1,725/8,249. Grade F.

MEADOR -480/8,249. Grade F.

RILEY -580/8,249. Grade F.

NOACK 6,861/8,249. Grade B.

CLARK 7,395/8,249. Grade B+.

The citizens must remain vigilant.

 

Comments

comments

You must be logged in to post a comment Login