Montgomery County Judge Craig Doyal and Precinct 2 Commissioner Charlie Riley are under scrutiny yet again for possible ethics violations. The Montgomery County District Attorney’s office is conducting an investigation into Doyal and Riley’s use of county property to store their personal equipment.
For years, Doyal and Riley have stored their own large BBQ trailers in the Precinct 2 County barnyard. The trailers are often used to cook for political events and fundraisers.
According to Section 39.02 of the Texas Penal Code, Doyal and Riley could be guilty of “Abuse of Official Capacity”:
“A public servant commits an offense if, with intent to obtain a benefit or with intent to harm or defraud another, he intentionally or knowingly… misuses government property, services, personnel, or any other thing of value belonging to the government that has come into the public servant’s custody or possession by virtue of the public servant’s office or employment.”
Riley is also under fire for using a truck owned by Magnolia Independent School District to haul band equipment for his recent campaign fundraiser. Video from the event shows Riley saying that Magnolia ISD superintendent Todd Stephens “let us borrow” school maintenance workers that day to help load and transport the equipment.
The allegations are serious: Earlier this year, Liberty County Commissioner Mike McCarty was removed from office and sentenced to six months in jail in a very similar case. McCarty had used county equipment and employees to work on his private business and ranch.
Ironically, Riley fired county employee Melissa Goetz in 2012 for using county resources to work on Doyal’s campaign.
A grand jury has been scheduled to hear testimony from numerous witnesses regarding the allegations of corruption against Doyal and Riley on Thursday, October 19. Several Precinct 2 employees have been subpoenaed to appear; however, the grand jury hearing is not public.
Doyal is facing a 2018 primary challenge from State Rep. Mark Keough (R-The Woodlands), and Riley is also being challenged by Greg Parker and Brian Dawson, who has called for Riley to resign in light of the recent revelations.