Image: Precinct 4 Montgomery County Commissioner James Metts “Asph-Scam” Scandal.
Conroe, January 28 – It may appear to be a mundane Tuesday, January 29, 2019, Montgomery Commissioners Court agenda item transferring some funds around under employee code numbers and account numbers. In truth, it’s the “Asph-Scam” Scandal. That’s pronounced “AZ-fuh-skam” Scandal, standing for the asphalt account scam of corrupt Precinct 4 Montgomery County Commissioner James Metts who clearly couldn’t care less about improving the roads of East Montgomery County but whose number one priority is funneling money to his political cronies and to himself.
The chart at the top of this article shows the mechanics of the Asph-Scam Scandal.
Step #1: Clark sincerely tried to fix a problem, December 18, 2018
On December 18, 2018, former Precinct 4 County Commissioner Jim Clark performed an act of kindness and efficiency to assist the incoming Montgomery County Judge, Mark Keough, with a budget mess intentionally which disgraced former County Judge Craig Doyal had left behind him. Doyal had left no funds in the “Supplies” budget of the Montgomery County Judge’s Office, so Keough wouldn’t have money available in the County Judge Budget for office supplies, computers, or even copy paper.
Hearing of the problem, Clark proposed a budget amendment to transfer $30,000.00 from the $1,264,099 “asphalt” account of Commissioners Precinct 4 into the County Judge’s “supplies”budget. The Montgomery County Commissioners Court voted unanimously to approve the budget amendment and transfer at its December 18 meeting.
Step #2: Metts, Martin lie to Mark Keough in secret meeting right before Commissioners Court on January 8, 2019
Immediately before the first Commissioners Court meeting over which new County Judge Mark Keough would preside, Precinct 4 County Commissioner James Metts and his new “chief of staff,” none other than the terminated Montgomery County Auditor phyllis martin who the District Judges had terminated after an external evaluation had slammed her for failing to meeting auditing standards, snuck into Keough’s office. Metts and martin pled to Keough that they needed to get the $30,000.00 Clark had transferred back into their Precinct 4 “asphalt” account, because “the people of East Montgomery County need those funds for their roads.”
Keough, kindhearted and new to the County Judge job and unsuspecting of Metts’ and Martins’ duplicity, fell for the their trick.
When Keough moved heroically to reduce his own salary and that of his Chief of Staff Jason Millsaps, those actions reduced the County Judge’s Office budget by approximately $30,000. Rather than allowing the taxpayers to enjoy a tiny break from the crazed overspending of the Montgomery County government, Keough thought he performed a noble act by moving to transfer for those funds into Metts’ Precinct 4 “asphalt” account. Keough commented to this newspaper, “I was happy to help the people of East Montgomery County.”
Metts said to Keough in the open Commissioners Court meeting on January 8, “I admire you for what you’re doing and I appreciate it. And I think it should go back in the asphalt fund. In this particular line, I don’t want to get you for more…Thank you for that, sir.” (Emphasis added.)
Metts even seconded Keough’s motion to reduce Keough’s salary.
Metts then added, “Thank you again, sir.” Keough replied, “You’re welcome.”
Step #3: Metts blows asphalt funds on feathering his political cronies’ pockets, January 29, 2019!!!
Metts placed a dry sounding agenda item on the meeting agenda for the Tuesday, January 29, 2019, Montgomery County Commissioners Court meeting. Here it is.
Let’s translate that agenda item into English rather than “Corruptese”:
PLEASE CONSIDER AND APPROVE GIVING TERMINATED FORMER COUNTY AUDITOR phyllis martin A GIANT $109,748.08 SALARY, $959.92 CELL PHONE ALLOWANCE, FORMER JP 4 COURT CLERK TAMMY ROGERS A $25,000 PER YEAR RAISE TO $60,000.20 AS A SECRETARY IN THE COMMISSIONER OFFICER, A DEMOTION OF MICHAEL GUYTON TO INVENTORY SPECIALIST MAKING $42,000.14, PER YEAR SINCE HE WAS A JIM CLARK SUPPORTER, CREATING A NEW POSITION CALLED “SAFETY/LOSS CONTROL OFFICER” FOR MY POLITICAL CRONY GERALD MARTIN AT AN ANNUAL SALARY OF $75,000.12, AND CREATING A NEW PART-TIME CLERK POSITION WITH SALARY OF $25,000 PER YEAR, WHICH I’LL FILL WITH ANOTHER POLITICAL CRONY, WITH $296,681.76 TOTAL STOLEN FROM THE ASPHALT ACCOUNT FOR ROAD REPAIRS IN EAST MONTGOMERY COUNTY!
Metts is plundering almost one-quarter of the Precinct 4 Commissioner’s budget for “asphalt” for the purpose of giving lucrative salaries for his political cronies.
When martin went with Metts to meet with Keough before the January 8, 2019, Commissioners Court meeting, martin (and Metts) failed to disclose to Keough that the $30,000 they wanted from Keough’s and Millsaps’ salary would go directly into martin’s pocket.
Welcome to the unadulterated corruption of James Metts! It’s the Asph-Scam Scandal. More to come…