Tarrant County Judge Tim O’Hare is calling for a “change in leadership” at the Tarrant Appraisal District after the agency’s head of Information Systems was suspended pending an investigation.
On Monday, TAD suspended Cal Wood after a Star-Telegram inquiry into a recording of Wood telling coworkers he supported creating a “false narrative” for the media about TAD’s tech issues.
“TAD needs a change in leadership to restore the public’s trust, which is currently non-existent,” O’Hare wrote in a post on X.
The county’s taxing entities elect members to the five-person board.
There is a serious leadership problem at the Tarrant Appraisal District. This suspension is simply not enough. TAD needs a change in leadership to restore the public’s trust, which is currently non-existent. How many scandals does it take? https://t.co/ujScYEIXJ4
— Tim O'Hare, Tarrant County Judge (@TimothyOHare) August 22, 2023
“How many scandals does it take?” O’Hare asked.
Since O’Hare took office in January, the agency responsible for appraising property values in Tarrant County has faced several high-profile controversies:
A TAD employee resigned after the Star-Telegram inquired into her potentially violating the agency’s conflict of interest policy.
TAD board chair Kathryn Wilemon was recalled after a vote by the Keller City Council, which cited several high-profile controversies.
The situation inspired Rep. Charlie Geren to file a bill that would abolish TAD and put its functions under the control of the state comptroller.
TAD launched a website that wasn’t operational until weeks into the 30-day window property owners have to file appraisal protests.
TAD violated Texas tax code by failing to provide property owners with an automated market review tool on its website.
A former TAD employee came forward to dispute the claim that the website is now fixed.
During its Aug. 11 meeting, the TAD board of directors took a vote of confidence in Law, as stipulated by the letter of repair. Tony Pompa, JR Martinez and Jungus Jordan voted yes. Rich DeOtte and Vince Puente voted no.
DeOtte referenced this vote in a statement released Tuesday.
“After more than two years of scandals, this most recent scandal needs to be the last. I voted ‘no confidence’ in the Chief Appraiser at our last board meeting. Well, here we go again. We are well past the time to change leadership at TAD. I call on the TAD Board to convene and fix the problem once and for all. The public trust is completely lost and for good reason. We cannot continue to kick this can down the road.,” DeOtte said.