On Wednesday June 28, 2016 the State Commission on Judicial Conduct suspended Craig Doyal from the offices of the County Judge in Montgomery County. The letter, dated June 28, 2016 stated the suspension, without pay, was effective immediately and cites Rule 15 of the Procedural Rules for Removal or Retirement of Judges promulgated by the Supreme Court of Texas.
A copy of the letter was sent to Phyllis L. Martin, the Montgomery County Auditor; Stephanne Davenport, the Montgomery County Treasurer; Montgomery County Attorney JD Lambright; Montgomery County DA Brett Ligon; Montgomery County Judge Doyal, Chief of Staff Jim Fredricks and Judge Doyal’s attorney, John Choate.
On Friday June 24, 2016 the Conroe Courier reported a Montgomery County grand jury indicted three members of the Montgomery County Commissioners Court and a political consultant on charges related to alleged violations of the Texas Open Meetings Act.
“County Judge Craig Doyal and Precinct 4 Commissioner Jim Clark booked themselves into the Montgomery County Jail Friday on charges of conspiring to circumvent Texas Government Code 551.143 for secret deliberations then quickly bonded out.
According to special prosecutor Chris Downey, Precinct 2 Commissioner Charlie Riley and political consultant Marc Davenport, the husband of County Treasurer Stephanne Davenport, also were indicted.”
“The charges stem from an investigation and grand jury proceedings into whether members of Commissioners Court and other individuals violated the Texas Open Meetings Act, among other possible violations, during negotiations in August 2015 that led to the $280 million November road bond election, which voters passed.”
The Courier also reported “a suspended judge has 30 days following the suspension to request the hearing; and the commission then has 30 days to schedule a hearing. Following a hearing, the commission has 60 days to make a decision regarding the suspension.”