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Social media posts prompt TAD response on board election, IT investigation

Tarrant Appraisal District board chairman Tony Pompa (left) and Tax Assessor-Collector Wendy Burgess at a Tarrant Appraisal board meeting, Sept. 18, 2023.
Cristian ArguetaSoto
Fort Worth Report
Tarrant Appraisal District board chairman Tony Pompa (left) and Tax Assessor-Collector Wendy Burgess at a Tarrant Appraisal board meeting, Sept. 18, 2023.

New board members, an IT security breach and chief appraiser interviews are some of the topics related to the embattled Tarrant Appraisal District that have been discussed on social media in the past few days.

Here’s what we know so far:

TAD elections

Tarrant County Judge Tim O’Hare took to social media on Dec. 13 to announce that the Tarrant Appraisal District board of directors election was “mathematically over,” listing names of new members expected to start serving in 2024.

But Tarrant County taxpayers eager to find out about the new Tarrant Appraisal District board of directors will have to wait at least until Dec. 15 for official results.

The Texas Tax Code gives taxing entities until Dec. 15 to submit their votes for a board of director appointment. After that, the chief appraiser will have until Dec. 31 to compile results.

Until then, no official announcement regarding who will serve on the 2024 TAD board of directors will be made, TAD said in a statement.

In his post, O’Hare named incumbents Rich DeOtte, Vince Puente and new members Gary Losada, Alan Blaylock and Gloria Pena as board members.

He described this new board as, “… now 4 solid votes (possibly 5) to reform TAD.”

During the past year, the Tarrant Appraisal District was embroiled in a series of events that eroded trust between the agency and taxpayers and culminated in the resignation of former Chief Appraiser Jeff Law on Sept. 1.

TAD board members are elected every two years. The board is currently made up of five members appointed by the taxing units, which include cities, counties and school districts. Taxing units can nominate one candidate per open seat.

Each taxing unit is allocated a certain number of votes based on a formula in the Texas Tax Code. All the votes can be cast for a single candidate or be split among several.

The city of Fort Worth has the most votes allocated with 623, followed by Fort Worth ISD with 597 and Tarrant County with 526 votes.

IT investigation

In September, TAD acknowledged that a security breach of its computer system may have occurred in October 2022, potentially exposing sensitive taxpayer information. In response, the agency hired a third-party information technology investigative firm to determine whether any interference occurred.

In a statement shared Dec. 13, TAD said the investigation is still ongoing and that no final report has been provided to the board of directors.

“With the pending investigation, claims made on its findings by external entities are unfounded and supported by the investigative firm,” the statement read.

The statement was issued after realtor Chandler Crouch posted on his blog that the extent of the data breach was covered up.

However, board chairman Tony Pompa commented during a Nov. 17, 2023, board meeting that the investigation had been “terminated” and the firm found that no data had been taken from TAD’s computer system.

The firm did identify some issues with the system that TAD needs to address, Pompa said during that meeting.

TAD did not respond by publication to the Fort Worth Report’s request to comment on this contradiction.

Chief appraiser search

Following the resignation of Law as chief appraiser, the board has been searching for a permanent replacement. A contract was initially expected to be signed in October. The board is currently interviewing candidates as of its Dec. 14 meeting.

William Durham, director of commercial appraisals, is the interim director.

The next board meeting is Dec. 21.

Sandra Sadek is a Report for America corps member, covering growth for the Fort Worth Report. You can contact her at or on Twitter@ssadek19. At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policyhere.

This article first appeared on Fort Worth Report and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.