Conroe, March 31 – After the criminal defense team representing County Judge Craig Doyal, Precinct 2 Commissioner Charlie Riley, and political consultant Marc Davenport rested at 1:11 p.m. this afternoon, Special Prosecutor Christopher Downey announced that the State of Texas would present former Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia as its first witness on Monday morning at 9 a.m. when the defendants’ constitutional challenge to the Texas Open Meetings Act (“TOMA”) resumes. Garcia served as the elected Sheriff from 2009 to 2015 when he resigned to run unsuccessfully for Mayor of Houston.
Prior to his election as Sheriff, Garcia had served for six years as a Houston City Councilman as well as the Mayor Pro Tem of Houston. TOMA governs City Council meetings and the members of the City Council. The 56-year former public servant was an officer with the Houston Police Department for 23 years. Sources have disclosed to The Golden Hammer that Garcia has never had any trouble whatsoever understanding or complying with the provisions of TOMA, including Section 143 of the statute under which Doyal, Riley, and Davenport were indicted.
TOMA Section 143 provides:
“A member or group of members of a governmental body commits an offense if the member or group of members knowingly conspires to circumvent this chapter [TOMA] by meeting in numbers less than a quorum for the purpose of secret deliberations.”
Doyal, Riley, and Davenport contend that they can’t understand what Section 143 means and that they believe the provision is unconstitutionally “vague.”
Visiting District Judge Randy Clapp had set aside three days – March 29 to 31 – for the criminal defense team to present their witnesses on the constitutionality issue. They rested early this afternoon. Since Garcia was not available this afternoon, Judge Clapp put the trial in recess until Monday morning.