Conroe and New Caney, February 15 – Montgomery County citizens suffer from the so-called “Davenport Ring” in many ways and should take extra care to vote against all of them in the upcoming March 6, 2018, Republican Primary Election. Getting rid of the Davenport Ring would be a major step for the County government away from corruption.
Marc Davenport, an outside “political consultant” who sometimes holds himself out as a “County employee,” “court spokesman,” or even “sworn deputy,” dictates the actions of the elected officials and politicians who have sworn fealty to him. He negotiates business deals for his clients and, in return, takes massive payments from them and expects absolute loyalty from them.
Davenport and the Davenport Ring severely disrupt the Montgomery County government in several manners:
- Davenport orders the Information Technology Department and its employees around with respect to purchasing decisions and the implementation of a fiber optic cable network which the Commissioners Court never approved. Please see “Montgomery County Government ‘For Sale’ (Part 11): Marc Davenport’s In Charge,” The Golden Hammer, December 5, 2017.
- When County employees have attempted to make decisions about which Davenport disapproves, Davenport orders Montgomery County Judge Craig Doyal to step in to implement Davenport’s directions. If Doyal doesn’t abide by Davenport’s orders, Davenport threatens Doyal who will then follow the directions. Please see “Conroe City Councilman Duane Ham: ‘The Davenports’ Threats Against County Judge Craig Doyal Are An Insult To The Law Enforcement Community And The Citizens’ (The Davenports, Part 1),” The Golden Hammer, May 30, 2017.
- Davenport does not permit the members of the Davenport Ring to interact with elected officials and politicians who utilize the services of political consultants in competition with Davenport. Please see “How the Davenport Ring Rolls,” The Golden Hammer, November 27, 2017. Therefore, if one County Department under the Davenport Ring’s control has to work with another County Department that is not under their control, major operational problems can occur. An example of such a problem was the attempt by County Treasurer Stephanne Davenport to give Doyal’s daughter, a County employee whom Davenport employs, a major promotion and raise. County Human Resources Director Dodi Shaw would not go along with the proposal which lead to a major confrontation requiring the intervention of Precinct 3 County Commissioner James Noack and County Attorney J.D. Lambright.
- The Davenport Ring has cost Montgomery County taxpayers millions of dollars through their ramming through the Graves Humphries Stahl/NetData fees and fines collection system for four of the five Justice of the Peace Courts. Please see “GHS/NetData Debacle, Part 1 Of 2: Metts Receives ‘The Golden Hammer Award’ For Terrible JP 4 Court Operations During Calendar Year 2017,” The Golden Hammer, February 14, 2018.
In summary, the Davenport Ring erects political barriers to government officials working together cooperatively to solve community problems. Their politics trumps good government. It’s costing the taxpayers of Montgomery County tens of millions of dollars in governmental inefficiency alone.
The Davenport Ring members who are involved in contested political races in the upcoming election are:
- County Treasurer Stephanne Davenport, perhaps the most corrupt of all of the Davenport Ring, who faces eminently qualified reformer Melanie Pryor Bush (currently President of the Conroe Independent School District Board of Trustees).
- James Metts, running for Precinct 4 County Commissioner against two very strong and honorable candidates, incumbent Jim Clark and MCHD Director Bob Bagley. Metts is known for sexual harassment of a County employee, killing a man in 2002, nepotism, laziness, and the fact that he owns no property in Montgomery County so he doesn’t care one way or the other whether property taxes rise as a result of his actions.
- Cynthia Jamieson, running for Montgomery County District Clerk, against Melisa Miller. Miller may be the strongest candidate for District Clerk in qualifications and positive demeanor that Montgomery County has ever enjoyed. Jamieson has no experience and little knowledge of the District Clerk job. She’s continued to file incorrect campaign finance reports even after this newspaper explained in detail the precise reasons she can’t file “0” campaign finance reports.
- Jason Dunn, running for Precinct 4 Justice of the Peace. Dunn is a Splendora school board member with good qualifications. He joined the Davenport Ring, because he fears Marc Davenport, the corrupt local political boss who controls it. That’s not a good argument for someone as an elected official (that they make their first major decision out of fear of one person whom the voters have not elected.) Dunn is challenging outstanding and longtime Deputy Constable Ronald Willingham for the open position which Metts has finally decided to vacate (officially).
Two other candidates deserve dishonorable mention:
- Craig Doyal, Montgomery County Judge, who sent Davenport a $5,000 to hire him as his campaign consultant in this election, but Davenport turned down the embattled incumbent. Davenport carefully only picks candidates as clients whom he thinks will win the election. Doyal is a mess who is under criminal indictment along with Davenport.
- Charlie Riley, another criminal co-indictee along with Doyal and Davenport. Riley terminated Davenport in 2016 after they got indicted together. Riley still maintains ties to the Davenport Ring, however. A Montgomery County Grand Jury is investigating Riley for use of Commissioners Precinct 2 and Magnolia ISD government property for political and personal purposes.