Montgomery County Precinct 4 Justice of the Peace James Metts will challenge incumbent County Commissioner Jim Clark in the March 6 Republican primary. Already challenging Clark is Montgomery County Hospital District Director Bob Bagley. Metts announced his intention to run for commissioner before a small gathering of supporters in the parking lot of Sweetie Pies, a business he co-owns with his girlfriend.
Metts has a sordid history as an elected official, and a record of wasting taxpayer dollars. In 2014, Montgomery County taxpayers were forced to pay $45,000 to settle a sexual harassment suit against Metts by Delonna Snow, a former county employee who worked as Mett’s court coordinator.
In the lawsuit, Snow alleged that Metts sexually harassed her, and then wrongfully fired her when she rejected his advances. According to Snow, Metts, “created a sexually hostile work environment by discussing his sex life in the presence of [Snow], as well as other staff, and telling jokes of a sexual nature.” The suit further states that when she, “rejected his advances and refused his offer of money, he threatened to hit her.”
After she complained, Metts, “began systematically retaliating against her, ultimately terminating her employment.” according to the suit.
The U. S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ruled in favor of Snow, and determined that Metts did indeed sexually harass her, prompting the county to settle his case with taxpayer dollars.
Metts’ abuse of power did not stop there. In June 2017, Metts filed a lawsuit against the county IT director in his own court in an attempt to force him to hand over county documents. The issue of potential conflicts of interest was raised, since Metts was listed as the judge, plaintiff, and plaintiff’s attorney – all in the same case.
With politicians like Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX), Sen. Al Franken (D-MN), and Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) retiring over credible sexual harassment allegations, many Montgomery County community leaders believe Metts should be resigning too, not seeking higher office.