Conroe, December 29 – The Golden Hammer, Montgomery County’s leading daily newspaper, presents the year 2017 in review in three parts. It’s been an interesting year and one which citizen involvement and activism has marked. In this three part series, this newspaper will review the major stories the citizens of Montgomery County, Texas, confronted.
The Golden Hammer newspaper begins
It’s no secret that the goal of the Publisher of The Golden Hammer is to reduce Montgomery County government spending, waste, by approximately $100 million without reducing services, but also increasing law enforcement spending by $20 million per year and setting aside a $20 million road, bridge, and capital fund so the County government’s taxpayers won’t have to suffer debt for future capital needs.
During 2016, the Publisher had fed many stories to the Courier blog. On December 2, 2016, however, a Courier blog’s reporter informed the Publisher that the Courier blog would not continue to publish many stories critical of Montgomery County Judge Craig Doyal and the political establishment, because the newspaper wanted to build a good relationship with them through the fired Courier newspaper editor jim fredricks, who works for Doyal as his “chief of staff.” The reporter also commented that she thought Doyal was “cute.”
The Publisher began plans for this newspaper in order to get the truth out about the wasteful spending and corruption within the Montgomery County government. In early January, he began to discuss the planned newspaper’s beginning on January 14, 2017. A member of the Commissioners Court shared those plans with the Courier blog, which realized they had to take some action to try to prevent this newspaper from beginning.
On Friday, January 6, the Courier blog’s Catherine Dominguez contacted the Publisher and told him that she was going to write a story about the Publisher to try to destroy his credibility. The Courier blog published their story on Monday, January 9. The story was largely fictitious but neither Dominguez nor her editor would speak with the Publisher to try to correct the facts.
This newspaper began publishing on January 14, 2017, at 12:01 a.m.
Several weeks later, The Golden Hammer discovered through serendipity – in reviewing an Open Records Act request concerning other issues – that Dominguez had allowed a County government official, who had been the brunt of substantial criticism from the Publisher, to write most of the story for her, that the County government official had written the article on County time and using County equipment, and that the Courier blog didn’t fact-check the story. Please see “County Attorney Lambright Ghost-Edits, Partly Writes Fake News Story In Courier Blog To Slam Critic Yollick; Agador Sparatacus Exposed,” The Golden Hammer, February 10, 2017.
On January 14, 2017, this newspaper began and rapidly grew into Montgomery County’s leading daily newspaper. The newpspaper made clear its “approach” and its “story”:
“Our Approach: We seek breaking news stories that will assist readers in knowing what is actually happening in our community, Montgomery County, Texas. This newspaper is not a public service announcement seeking to present the best face of government. We strive to bring you what’s actually happening in politics, business, the community, sports, arts, and entertainment.
“Our Story: The Golden Hammer seeks to bring the truth to light. In June, 2016, our founder and publisher Eric Yollick sought to reduce government spending in the Montgomery County government to reform that monster. He observed that other so-called newspaper were neither mainstream nor news. They were far-left rationalizers of government growth and corruption. This newspaper is a tool to bring that reform to reality.”
Interestingly, when The Golden Hammer began, corrupt local political boss Marc Davenport was very complimentary of it and actually promoted the newspaper himself. Davenport didn’t mind if The Golden Hammer criticized Doyal, but he liked some of the criticism against Precinct 4 County Commissioner Jim Clark, because Davenport’s client JP James Metts intended to run against Clark for Commissioner all along. Of course, Davenport’s view towards The Golden Hammer reversed – and Davenport began a personal attack campaign against the Publisher based largely on Dominguez’s fictitious Courier blog story – when it became clear that Metts supported higher County government spending, higher salaries for himself and other elected officials, and was part of a corrupt scheme to take control of the County’s Information Technology and Purchasing Departments.
The first major story: Asbestos-Gate, January 14.
On January 14, 2017, The Golden Hammer broke the story that some county officials, particularly Doyal and Building Maintenance Director Paul Case, attempted to downplay a giant asbestos containing materials (ACM) problem in the older original part of the Montgomery County Courthouse, located at 301 North Main Street in Conroe. The problems recently arose during a remodeling and attempted renovation of the old District Courtroom on the second floor of the building to turn it into a new home for the 410th District Court of District Judge Jennifer Robin.
Three County employees suffered major asbestos exposure when Doyal and Case had instructed them to tear down walls in the Courthouse without taking any safety precautions, even though they knew there was asbestos in the walls. They also failed to follow federal, state, and City of Conroe regulations for tearing down asbestos-laden walls.
Rather than focusing on the health and safety of the three exposed employees and the general public that breathed asbestos to which the County exposed them through an HVAC duct, Doyal and Case tried to cover the problem up, hid the issue from the remainder of the Commissioners Court, and, instead, launched an investigation to find out how The Golden Hammer found out about the story. Paranoia set in immensely.
Montgomery County’s terrible reputation for corruption across Texas; efforts to pass a Code of Ethics make some progress but an ethics code with enforcement teeth failed
On January 16, 2017, Bob Bagley, Montgomery County Hospital District Board member and candidate for County Commissioner, Precinct 4, told the Montgomery County Tea Party that “Austin is known as the weirdest, but, sadly, Montgomery County is now known as the most corrupt in all of Texas.” Bagley described the reaction of legislators, lobbyists, and activists with whom he just returned from meeting in Austin during the 85th Legislature Session.
Later, numerous politicians in this community, including Wayne Mack, State Representative Mark Keough, former State Representative Steve Toth, and Precinct 3 County Commissioner James Noack agreed with Bagley’s remarks.
Precinct 3 County Commissioner James Noack spoke before a large crowd of conservatives at the meeting of the Montgomery County Tea Party on April 3. Although Noack followed a town hall format where he took questions from the audience for most of the evening, he mostly talked about County government ethics – or the lack of it – as a result of the questions which came from the floor. Noack confirmed to the room of political activists, “People around the State laugh at Montgomery County” for our ethically-challenged reputation.
Noack began his talk on a serious note. “I’m not a fan of political jokes. I just don’t like them, mainly because I’ve seen too many of them get elected,” Noack told the group. Noack discussed the history of Montgomery County’s attempts to pass an ethics code. “Three years ago, I came forward with a 13 bullet-point ethics policy, which included that members of Commissioners Court would not vote to give County contracts to people with whom they do business [personally]. The policy passed unanimously, but, obviously, with Judge [Craig] Doyal and Halff Associates, no one took it very seriously.”
Noack complimented County Attorney J.D. Lambright for his work on a robust ethics package. The crowd recognized and applauded Lambright for his courageous stand during the March 28 Commissioners Court meeting during which Lambright strongly advised the Court not to place political cronies or recent former County employees on the Ethics Committee which has some ability to reprimand County employees for breaching the Ethics Code. The Commissioners Court finally adopted a Code of Ethics after the Texas Department of Transportation threatened to cut off all state funding to Montgomery County for roads and highways, unless the County adopted an ethics policy by February 7, 2017.
Doyal’s legal fees
Montgomery County Judge Craig Doyal paid criminal defense attorney Rusty Hardin $89,430.79 on December 30, 2016, for legal services, as Doyal disclosed in his semiannual campaign finance report, filed with the County Elections Administrator on January 17, 2017. Hardin is defending Doyal in the criminal matter wherein the State of Texas has indicted Doyal and others for allegedly violating the Texas Open Meetings Act. Doyal made these payments out of campaign contributions.
Doyal also paid Conroe criminal defense attorney John Choate $9,167.50 in legal fees on July 6, 2016, as shown in the same campaign finance report. Choate also represents Doyal in the criminal matter. Doyal made these payments out of campaign contributions.
Meador’s and other Commissioner’s “slush funds”
Precinct 1 Commissioner Mike Meador has transferred $2,737,025.30 from the Precinct 1 road budget into a wide variety of other expenditures having little or nothing to do with roads, since April, 2014. Meador slid $625,000.00 of the transferred funds over to “professional services” which largely represented payments to engineering firms and contractors who have provided large contributions to Meador, County Judge Craig Doyal, and some of their colleagues within the “axis of evil” (Meador, Doyal, Charlie Riley, and Jim Clark) on the Montgomery County Commissioners Court.
The Golden Hammer uncovered the “slush fund” transfers in late January, 2017, after noticing that millions of dollars of unbudgeted transfers of funds have occurred on the Consent Agenda (undiscussed in open meetings) portion of the Montgomery County Commissioners Court Agendas. The “slush funds” often spring from an unbudgeted account with the accounting suffix “-7997” which represents funds unspent within County departments from previous years. Another “slush fund” often utilized for purposes other than those for which the Commissioners previously budgeted them often contains the suffix “-7340” which contains funds budgeted for roads and asphalt but often utilized for other purposes, such as paying Christmas bonuses without public notice (hopefully). The County government has only partially responded to requests under the Public Information Act for documents pertaining to the “-7997” fund expenditures.
Calls begin for County “homestead exemption”
On January 29, 2017, Precinct 3 County Commissioner James Noack became the first member of the Montgomery County Commissioners Court to heed the call by conservative political activist Kelli Cook and other citizens to adopt a 20% homestead exemption from County government tax assessments. Montgomery County was one of the few counties among the 254 in Texas which did not provide a homestead exemption.
County Judge Doyal immediately made clear he opposed the homestead exemption because it would reduce the amount of money available to the County government to spend.
Animal Shelter moving forward (finally)
The Montgomery County Animal Shelter (MCAS), under the direction of new Director Charles Jackson who began in the position in December, 2016, was making great strides forward to become an animal-friendly and -caring facility, while welcoming the public, volunteers, fosters, rescue groups, and others whom MCAS had chased away during the horrific reign of Director Todd “Boss” Hayden. Walking into the Shelter in its present condition was surreal. Volunteers returned. The animal cages were clean. There were many empty cages because Jackson, Assistant Director Mark Wysocki, and their staff were working vociferously to move animals into permanent homes.
Quadvest CEO Sequeira shows great leadership on water, property rights
On February 7, Simon Sequeira, President of Quadvest Water and Sewer Utility, a major private groundwater producer in Montgomery, thanked Governor Greg Abbott for the Governor’s serious proposals during the 85th Texas Legislature to protect the property rights of landowners in Montgomery County and elsewhere from special purpose district abuses. In a statement exclusive to The Golden Hammer, Sequeira said, “I think the letter from Governor Abbott is timely for the people of Montgomery County for many reasons. It seems like the private property fight that people have waged on many fronts is finally getting attention.”
Quadvest is one of the main plaintiffs in the lawsuit against the Lone Star Groundwater Conservation District (LSGCD) in which the Beaumont Court of Appeals ruled unanimously last February 2 that the City of Conroe and large groundwater producers may challenge the reasonableness of the regulations promulgated by that supposed conservation district. As The Golden Hammer reported on February 7 (“Texas A&M’s Bush School’s Study Rejects Groundwater Regulation”), the science concerning groundwater in the Gulf Coast Aquifer supports the argument that there will be no groundwater shortage ever at current groundwater usage rates in Montgomery County and the remainder of the Gulf Coast region.
County Treasurer Stephanne Davenport’s “reorganization” of her tiny 6-person Department started to crumble after County Human Resources Director Dodi Shaw unmasked Davenport’s, Doyal’s scheme to give Doyal’s daughter a nepotistic promotion
On February 17 and 18, a flood of County employees leaked to The Golden Hammer a waterfall of copies of a letter, dated February 13, 2017, from Montgomery County Human Resources Director Dodi Shaw to County Judge Craig Doyal, in which Shaw (1) pled for her job, (2) promised loyalty to Doyal, and (3) complained about allegedly aggressive tactics by County Treasurer Stephanne Davenport to procure a promotion for the County Judge’s daughter, to “Assistant Treasurer,” and a “reorganization” of the County Treasurer’s department. The Golden Hammer has asked each of the County officials involved to respond to Shaw’s allegations of misconduct in writing by the early afternoon of Sunday, February 19, 2017, so that they may have a fair opportunity to present their perspective of the situation.
Shaw made clear in her letter that she would stand by her Department’s findings that Davenport’s so-called “reorganization” was an effort to promote Doyal’s daughter, who works for the County Treasurer, a major promotion and salary increase. Davenport denied preparing the written documents that set up the nepotistic promotion, which such denials were later clearly established as bald-faced lies.
Shaw also mentioned in her letter that she knew Doyal had placed Shaw’s name on his political “Hit List” of County employees he wished to terminate for supporting his 2014 electoral opponent Mark Bosma in the Republican Primary Election.
Doyal’s steganography in hiding most County business on the “Consent Agenda”
Without providing any advance information to the rest of the Commissioners Court or the public, County Judge Craig Doyal and his “chief of staff” jim fredricks posted an agenda for the February 14, 2017, 9:30 a.m., Commissioners Court meeting with 2,274 pages of backup. Clearly, Doyal and Fredricks sought to prevent any ability for the Commissioners Court members of the public to have any meaningful notice or understanding of the items they seek to adopt.
The backup was missing two major items: (1) the proposed procedures of County Attorney J.D. Lambright regarding the weak Code of Ethics the Commissioners Court passed three weeks ago on January 24, (2) the payroll change request forms which would show requested raises, hirings, and terminations for the County payroll.
Doyal and fredricks continued throughout 2017 to hide most County business before the Commissioners Court on the so-called “Consent Agenda.” Precinct 2 County Commissioner Charlie Riley and the other members of the Commissioners Court blindly followed.
DA Ligon: No dope in MoCo
On February 15, Montgomery County District Attorney Brett Ligon cautioned newly elected Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg that “she doesn’t speak for the State of Texas or the majority of elected District and County Attorney’s across the State” and warned against her role in becoming a spokesperson for a liberal marijuana legalization organization.
“Despite a rise in violent crime rates in Harris County, Ms. Ogg chooses to focus her attention on the issue of legalization of marijuana,” Ligon said. “I hope it’s a mistake in judgment on her part and not a sign of things to come. I respect the jurisdictional differences between Montgomery County and Harris County, and I hope she does too.
“Unlike Harris County, Montgomery County will not become a sanctuary for dope smokers. I swore an oath to follow the law – all the laws, as written by the Texas Legislature. I don’t get to pick and choose which laws I enforce,” Ligon said.
Homestead exemption failed on a 2 to 3 vote in Commissioners Court
During the regular Commissioners Court meeting on February 14, the five-person Commissioners Court debated whether to give taxpayers relief in the form of a 20% homestead exemption. The resolution, which Precinct 3 Commissioner James Noack moved to adopt and Precinct 4 Commissioner Jim Clark seconded, failed on a 2 to 3 vote after the “wild homestead exemption debate.” While the tax relief failed, the debate highlighted the positions on government spending and tax relief of each member of the Commissioners Court.
County Judge Craig Doyal made clear that he favors additional County government spending and uses “economic development” as a rationale. Doyal believes that government spurs economic growth, the purpose of which is to support further government growth. He clearly follows the philosophy of democratic socialist nations in Europe and of 20th century liberal economist John Maynard Keynes.
The 20% homestead exemption later passed, after furious lobbying by hundreds of citizens under the guidance and leadership of activist Kelli Cook, after Riley switched his vote on March 28.
Noack and Doyal trade barbs over Doyal’s and Davenport’s secrecy
On February 21, The Golden Hammer reported that Precinct 3 County Commissioner James Noack and County Judge Craig Doyal traded lofty accusations arising out of the dispute between County Human Resources Director Dodi Shaw and County Treasurer Stephanne Davenport. The Golden Hammer over the previous weekend obtained the letters, while Doyal has attempted to hide them from public view.
The accusations between Noack and Doyal began in a testy executive session held on January 10, 2017, during a regular Commissioners Court meeting in which Doyal presented Davenport’s accusations against Shaw.
Doyal had hoped to keep the matter secret by raising it in executive session. Documents created outside of executive sessions are not exempt under the Texas Open Records Act, even if discussed inside an executive session. Davenport provided her letter complaining about Shaw in secret to Doyal’s “chief of staff” Jim Fredricks (who supervises a staff of two administrative assistants). While Doyal read parts of the letter to the Commissioners Court during the executive session, he didn’t actually provide the letter to Noack until Noack had later requested a copy.
On February 1, 2017, in response to receiving a copy of Davenport’s letter, Noack wrote,
“It seemed as though you felt this letter would somehow justify terminating Mrs. Shaw. Comments you have made, and continue to make, confirm your long-standing desire to terminate her. I believe you have created an environment where it is difficult for Mrs. Shaw to succeed as the Human Resources Director for Montgomery County. I do not believe it is coincidence that the name Dodi Shaw was a name on the ‘hit list’ you denied having in a Commissioners Court meeting in 2015. I am referring to the ‘hit list’ you are rumored to have created during your 2014 campaign. The list is said to include the following county employees: Mark Bosma – terminated, Darlou Zenor – no longer employed by Montgomery County [after Doyal terminated her], Dodi Shaw, Don Carpenter [Convention Center Director].”
Asbestos cover-up continued
Montgomery County Building Maintenance Director Paul Case and County Judge Craig Doyal joined forces to hide a serious asbestos “Health Risk to County employee and the public,” as a secret January 30, 2017, environmental report delineated. Doyal consolidated all County departments under his supervision, took oversight away from the entire County Commissioners Court, and imposed a veil of secrecy on County government operations.
At the actual Court meeting on February 14, the secrecy and sneakiness continued. Neither Case nor Doyal mentioned the word “asbestos.” Instead, Case handed a black folder with a secret letter to each of the five members of the Commissioners Court. Only Precinct 3 County Commissioner James Noack dared mention the word “asbestos” during the discussion. The Golden Hammer has obtained the secret letter of Stephen R. “Randy” Wev, President and Director of Operations of Bay Environmental, Inc.
The secret environmental letter contained the following finding of fact:
“There is a concern that the asbestos identified associated with these [heater] units is a potential health risk to County employees and the public.”
The letter also contained a smoking cannon! Wev stated,
”Recent inspections and air monitoring within the courthouse have found no elevated levels of asbestos in the air (excluding the recent event in the 221st)”!
In other words, even Wev acknowledged that there were elevated levels of asbestos in the air as a result of the “recent event in the 221st.”
Meanwhile, in order to try to keep him quiet, Case and Doyal suspended one of the three workers who came into harm’s way and filed a workers compensation claim against Montgomery County from the asbestos exposure. The Golden Hammer obtained the paperwork relating to the worker’s suspension, which have revealed that, without any warning for any sort of wrongdoing, Case and Doyal have punished this employee for reporting this grave safety concern to one of the County government’s safety officers, Curtis Fitzgerald.
On April 13, the City of Conroe shut down a Montgomery County Building Maintenance Department job inside the Lee G. Alworth Courthouse Building, at 207 West Phillips Street in Conroe for “doing work without proper permits” and for doing a demolition of the Drug Courtroom on the 3rd floor of the building without the City-required and State of Texas-mandated Asbestos Survey. City inspector Jeff McCaffrey issued a $500 fine to the Montgomery County government and ordered that the demolition job “get proper permits before doing any further work.”
McCaffrey issued the fine, the Violation Notice, and the stop-work order at 9:15 a.m. At approximately 2:25 p.m., a lone Building Maintenance employee, Miguel Macareno (salary $50,966.66 per year, plus benefits), continued to demolish the floors and insulation inside the locked door of the Drug Courtroom. After a staff reporter of The Golden Hammer knocked on the door, Macareno opened the door and explained that “the city did order us to stop work but they’ve issued a new permit today according to my boss Paul Case.”
Constable blasts Doyal, Commissioners Court for poor support of law enforcement
On February 24, Precinct 2 Constable Gene De Forest, a member of County Judge Craig Doyal’s “Hit List” of County employees who have not backed him politically, called for greater Commissioners Court support for law enforcement. De Forest said, “I’ve been there for commissioners and our community in times of natural disasters and my Department has always served the community. The County Commissioners Court, however, is not giving the law enforcement community the support they need. DA Brett Ligon has said law enforcement is understaffed substantially. I absolutely agree with him.”
De Forest explained, “Craig Doyal was a county commissioner for 12 years before he became county judge. He never supported law enforcement as a county commissioner so I’m not surprised he doesn’t support us as county judge. Our community deserves the manpower on the street to protect their lives, their safety, and their property. The Commissioners Court just isn’t doing their job in providing law enforcement with the tools we need to combat crime.”
Doyal’s “Hit List”
On February 25, The Golden Hammer broke the full story of how Doyal’s “Hit List” of County employees who didn’t back him politically and whom Doyal wanted to make sure were terminated, had come to be.
On the night of March 4, 2014, Doyal and a group of his closest supporters sat around a conference table in a law office at 207 Simonton Street in Conroe where Doyal’s campaign held a post-election party. The election results were coming in, as Doyal sat at the center of the conference table (in the “power position”) underneath a metal star that hung on the wall behind him. One of his closest friends, businessman Brian Dawson, sat two chairs away from Doyal and announced the election returns from Montgomery County’s voting precincts as they came across Dawson’s laptop computer.
The group developed the “Hit List” as they watched the election results.
Doyal centralizes County management
In violation of the Texas Constitution, County Judge Doyal took over the management of the entire County government away from the Commissioners Court in January, 2015. On February 28, 2017, Noack and Precinct 4 County Commissioner Jim Clark attempted to wrest Doyal’s management of the entire County government away from Doyal.
Due to Doyal’s extensive golf obligations, Doyal is rarely in the office and rarely attends meetings in the County government. Doyal’s “chief of staff” jim fredricks is also unavailable to manage the County government due to his outside job as a realtor and his nap schedule involving several hours each afternoon.
On February 28, Noack’s and Clark’s proposal died on a 2 to 3 vote in the Commissioners Court. That’s not a surprise. Riley and Meador can hardly handle management of their Commissioner’s Precincts let alone trying to oversee the entire County government.
Davenport loses control – and dignity – in March 14 Commissioners Court meeting
In an unusual juxtaposition and irony, County Treasurer Stephanne Davenport accused County Human Resources Director Dodi Shaw and her staff of “a huge lack of integrity there” during the March 14, 2017, Commissioners Court meeting. Davenport and Doyal scheduled consideration of her so-called “reorganization” of the County Treasurer’s Office on March 14, because they knew Noack would not be in attendance for the meeting.
Davenport then proceeded to refuse to identify the County Treasurer’s Department employee who had submitted Position Description Questionnaires (PDQs) in September, 2016, to the Human Resources Department that named County Judge Craig Doyal’s daughter as the person who would receive a promotion and pay hike as part of a Departmental “reorganization.” Davenport read her entire speech from a prepared text.
Of course, The Golden Hammer later discovered that Davenport herself had written the PDQs to give Doyal’s daughter the big promotion and salary increase.
Davenport argued in her written speech that she was producing a team with “work to support each other” and not dwell on their mistakes.
Doyal, fredricks chase away “rock star” Animal Shelter Direct Jackson, because Jackson worked too closely with Doyal’s political nemesis Noack
While directly violating Montgomery County’s Employee Policy Manual, Montgomery County Judge Craig Doyal and his “chief of staff” jim fredricks chased away the best Director in the history of the Montgomery County Animal Shelter, Charles W. Jackson, who turned in his resignation on March 29.
Jackson declined to comment, although he has confirmed that he resigned as Animal Shelter Director and that his last day on the job would be April 14, 2017, only 134 days after he began on the job and performed downright miracles at the Animal Shelter. The live release rate for animals coming into the Shelter exceeded 95%. Employee morale and customer service were skyrocketing. Cleanliness and animal conditions were at an all-time-high.
Then Craig Doyal and jim fredricks entered the picture…Doyal and his “chief of staff” fredricks, who oversees a staff of 2 secretaries, called Jackson into Doyal’s office for a meeting at 11 a.m. on Friday, March 24, 2017. Behind the mostly-closed-doors of Doyal’s ornate office, Doyal and fredricks violated the County’s Employee Policy Manual by confronting Jackson. Under Section 2.10 of the Employee Manual, any complaints against an employee must go through the Director of the Human Resources Department, Dodi Shaw, a member of Doyal’s “Hit List” with whom Doyal and fredricks sparred over Doyal’s staunch attempt to garner promotion for his daughter to the higher-paying position of Assistant County Treasurer. As Shaw outlined in a detailed letter to Doyal and the members of the Commissioners Court on February 13, Shaw and her Assistant Director Kathy Flowers objected to the nepotism of the proposed Lindsey Doyal promotion, which resulted in several confrontational meetings involving fredricks, Lindsey Doyal, Flowers, Shaw, Doyal, and County Treasurer Stephanne Davenport.
Section 2.10 of the Employee Policy Manual sets Shaw and the Human Resources Department as the only appropriate locale for employee complaints about any other employees. Private businesses also limit complaints to the Human Resources Department so that such matters may receive orderly and calm-minded treatment. Doyal and fredricks, who are both far more interested in playing politics than doing right for the County, took matters into their own hands with the ultimate result that they have chased away the Animal Shelter “rock star” Jackson who resigned only four days after their meeting.
On Friday, March 24, Doyal and fredricks sat Jackson down and told Jackson that they had received complaints from current and former employees of the Animal Shelter that Jackson made some decisions to terminate certain employees because he was allegedly a “racist,” a “homophobe,” a “bigot,” and someone who discriminates based upon people’s “religious preferences.” Jackson squarely denied the allegations and asked Doyal and fredricks to produce any evidence of such discriminatory conduct by him.
Doyal and fredricks refused to provide any evidence – written or verbal – to Jackson. Jackson found another job (easily) and turned in his resignation to the power-crazed Doyal five days later.
Trial of the 21st Century shut down after judge’s bizarre ruling; Attorney General later steps into case
Facing criminal indictments for allegedly conspiring to violate the Texas Open Meetings Act, Doyal, Riley, and local political boss Marc Davenport argued to a visiting judge for three days that the Open Meetings Act is unconstitutional because it limits the time, place, and manner of their political speech and that they could not understand the law.
On April 2, Visiting District Judge Randy Clapp ruled that the Texas Open Meetings Act is unconstitutional and dismissed the criminal cases.
The State of Texas very quickly appealed, because Clapp’s ruling overturned approximately 150 years of American constitutional law and would be a pathway to government secrecy which violates the public policy of the State of Texas, as the Texas Legislature and Governor have enunciated.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has intervened in the case against Doyal, Riley, and Davenport.
Precinct 4 County Commissioner Jim Clark has agreed to testify against Doyal, Riley, and Davenport. Clark has told The Golden Hammer, “I’m not afraid to tell the truth. If they did something wrong, they should be punished.”
Doyal gets away with phony appraisal on his home until The Golden Hammer catches him: “It’s good to be the King”
One of the most popular articles in the history of The Golden Hammer, Montgomery County’s leading daily newspaper, ran on April 19, 2017, about Craig Doyal’s new home. The article itself has an amazing story, because Doyal’s “establishment” defenders attempted to protect him in comments on social media throughout the day by arguing that Doyal’s appraisal was accurate, because his home was incomplete on January 1, 2017, a false statement! Doyal and his wife moved into the complete home several months before the beginning of the year. But then, amazingly, the next day, April 20, 2017, someone inside the Montgomery Central raised Doyal’s property tax appraisal value to a value close to the correct amount. In other words, Doyal and the MCAD (Charlie Riley, Mike Meador, Ed Chance, Bruce Tough, and Tom Cox are the MCAD board members) knew about the incorrect appraisal but sought to protect the “King” anyway! That is, until this newspaper brought the truth out. Please see “BREAKING NEWS! MCAD Miraculously ‘Re-Appraises’ Doyal’s New Home At $573,020!!!!!!! Will Doyal Now Consider Reducing County Spending, Since He’s Got To Pay Taxes On His Home Just Like The Rest Of Us?!” (The Golden Hammer, April 20, 2017). The headline contained some wishful thinking…
The full original story follows:
“Conroe, April 19 – It’s good to be the king. Montgomery County Judge Craig Doyal moved into a brand new home during the autumn of 2016. It’s valued at $110,130. His immediate next door neighbor’s home somehow has a valuation of $596,000.
“Doyal’s home is in the posh neighborhood of Blue Heron Bay. His and Mrs. Doyal’s home is on Lake Conroe. They have a gigantic swimming pool in the back of the house between the home and the lake. It’s even got a swank mailbox that matches the home quite nicely.
“In 2016, the Montgomery Central Appraisal District (MCAD) valued the Doyal property at $110,130. Doyal threatened to resign as County Judge last summer when he was suspended without pay for a few weeks, because Doyal and Mrs. Doyal were on the verge of closing their permanent financing for their new home.
“MCAD sets the values for real property in Montgomery County as of January 1, 2017. That means that MCAD’s proposed valuation of Doyal’s home reflected its condition on January 1, 2017, which means that he can’t claim the home was under construction and, therefore, merited a lower than full valuation. The Doyals had already moved into the home by January 1.
“Meanwhile, tens of thousands of families throughout Montgomery County are experiencing shocks when they go to the mailbox, open their Notice of Proposed Value from MCAD, and discover that Doyal’s and the Commissioners Court’s real tax increases come through the MCAD.
“Remember that the Commissioners Court controls the MCAD, because MCAD’s five-member board is:
- Precinct 2 County Commissioner Charlie Riley
- Precinct 1 County Commissioner Mike Meador
- former Precinct 3 County Commissioner Ed Chance
- “Establishment” pal and former Woodlands Township board member Bruce Tough
- “Establishment” homebuilder Tom Cox, a long time friend of several members of the Commissioners Court.
“Let’s be fair to the King. He owns a second house that he’s currently trying to sell. That house is empty, as the har.com photographs of it show. King Doyal and his MCAD dukes have pulled a fast one on that house as well. Doyal is listing that home for sale for $75,170 more than MCAD has appraised that house.
“So while the citizens of Montgomery County are suffering these massive tax increases through so-called proposed property valuations, King Craig Doyal is enjoying his Swank New Home On The Lake while paying real property taxes for a valuation of
“No wonder Doyal doesn’t care about controlling County government spending. It’s good to be the king.”