The Political Firing of Montgomery Police Chief Napolitano, Part 2 of 3: Who is Mayor Sara Countryman?

The Political Firing of Montgomery Police Chief Napolitano, Part 2 of 3: Who is Mayor Sara Countryman?

Image: City of Montgomery Mayor Sara Countryman’s mugshot from one of her multiple arrests in Williamson County. Source: Williamson County Jail.

Montgomery, January 6 – During the past 24 hours several individuals have reacted to this newspaper’s reporting about the firing of Montgomery Police Chief Jim Napolitano by Mayor Sara Countryman, her political ally Rebecca Huss, City Administrator Jack Yates, and their political buddy Lieutenant Jose Belmares, even though the Montgomery City Council declined to remove the Police Chief during a City Council meeting on September 25, 2018.

Countryman wanted Napolitano to go, so she worked behind-the-scenes to force the popular and successful Police Chief out. Eventually, she forced him to sign a severance agreement under which the City will pay the Chief through February 1 while he serves out an “administrative leave.”

Since Napolitano left, Belmares reported to the Montgomery City Council on December 11, 2018, that tickets are down, arrests are down, and the Police Department has gotten substantially behind in keeping up with administrative duties.

Yesterday, The Golden Hammer, Montgomery County’s leading daily newspaper began a three part series on “The Political Firing of Montgomery Police Chief Napolitano.” After that story ran, several dozen readers raised the question “what is Countryman’s law enforcement background to make these types of decisions as firing a highly respected and successful Police Chief?”

It turns out that Countryman actually has had substantial dealings with courts and law enforcement. Each reader will need to decide whether that experience qualifies her to judge Chief Jim Napolitano’s career and record.

Countryman was born Sara Christine Marshall on May 10, 1973. She graduated from Round Rock High School and took some classes at Austin’s Concordia College.

Her employment has mostly been as a salesperson for IT firms. Currently Countryman is a saleslady for Red Hat Sales. Previously she did sales for Reduxio Systems and Dell Computers.

Countryman moved to Montgomery County 5 years ago. She served as the president of the Buffalo Springs subdivisions homeowners association. On May 5, 2018, Countryman won election as Mayor of Montgomery by winning 125 out of 209 votes cast, or 59.8% of the vote.

Countryman has had significant problems managing her personal finances. As a result, Countryman has had substantial experience with courts and with law enforcement. It is very possible that the information contained in this article is incomplete.

Countryman’s first experience with the judicial system occurred on April 28, 1993, when Bryan Curtis sued her and obtained a $1,200 judgment against her. There is no indication Countryman ever paid the judgment.

Countryman did not return telephone calls seeking comment about this article.

On January 30, 1996, the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office arrested Countryman for writing a bad check. The formal charge against her was theft by check. Countryman’s mugshot from that arrest is the one at the top of this article. Countryman bonded out the same day the Williamson County Sheriff incarcerated her in the Williamson County Jail.

On February 24, 1997, Countryman faced another theft by check charge in Williamson County. Like the first, Countryman was able to negotiate a plea arrangement under which she paid the check as well as all fees and fines.

On August 6, 1998, the Sheriff’s Office in Williamson County arrested Countryman again for theft by check. That case resulted in her conviction on September 2, 1998, but, again, Countryman avoided Jail time by making good on the check and paying the fees and fines.

On May 24, 2000, Countryman suffered a $1,221 judgment in Tarrant County (Fort Worth area). Once again, there is no indicated that she ever paid the judgment.

On March 25, 2012, Countryman drove through Brazos County, speeding at the 83 miles per hour in a 70 mile per hour speed limit zone. To be fair, getting a speeding ticket is not particularly newsworthy.

Countryman, however, didn’t appear for the court date for her speeding ticket, so on July 31, 2012, the Brazos court issued a bench warrant for her arrest. As a result, Brazos County law enforcement was able to force Countryman to appear to address her speeding ticket. On August 24, 2012, she pled guilty to the criminal charges and agreed to pay the fees and fines.

With at least two judgments and four arrests over 16 years, including one only six years ago, Countryman has certainly garnered substantial experience with respect to law enforcement.

 

 

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