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Tarrant Appraisal District chair resigns amid controversy

The dark wood doors of the Tarrant County Courthouse. There's the county emblem printed on the glass.
Keren Carrion
/
KERA News
The board chair of the Tarrant Appraisal District, Kathryn Wilemon, resigned on Feb. 23, 2023.

Board chair Kathryn Wilemon resigned just days after the Keller City Council pushed for a recall. Wilemon has been criticized following concerns with TAD leadership.

The board chair of the organization that sets property values in Tarrant County resigned Wednesday — just days after the Keller City Council voted on a resolution to recall her amid a string of controversies.

Kathryn Wilemon resigned as chair of the Tarrant Appraisal District — or TAD — Thursday morning. Wilemon was elected to chair the TAD board in 2021.

The news was confirmed by fellow board member Rich DeOtte, who said Wilemon submitted her resignation by email Wednesday. She did not specify a reason.

Recent controversies include the alleged targeting of a property tax consultant who helped residents protest their property tax appraisals. There were also harassment allegations against an employee at TAD who was eventually fired.

Keller City Council members voted unanimously to push for a recall on Tuesday.

The Keller vote alone didn’t remove Wilemon from the Appraisal District board. But if she hadn’t stepped down, her recall could have been put to a vote by cities, school districts and other taxing entities in Tarrant County.

“When you look at some of the actions, and some of the stories have come out from TAD in the last year and a half or two years, ultimately, that's built some distrust," Keller Mayor Armin Mizani told KERA on Wednesday.

Mizani said he hoped the council's vote would help create trust among residents not only in Keller, but across Tarrant County.

“When you've got an entity such as the appraisal district that is not helping in that process," Mizani said, "change needs to happen."

TAD did not immediately respond to a request for comment by KERA following Wilemon's resignation on Thursday. But in a statement to KERA on Wednesday, TAD Executive Director Jeff Law said that Wilemon had a long and distinguished record of serving Tarrant County residents.

"I will work diligently with the new member [the taxing entities] appoint and the existing board to carry out the duties and responsibilities of the Tarrant Appraisal District," Law added.

Got a tip? Email Pablo Arauz Peña at parauzpena@kera.org

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Sam Baker is KERA's senior editor and local host for Morning Edition. The native of Beaumont, Texas, also edits and produces radio commentaries and Vital Signs, a series that's part of the station's Breakthroughs initiative. He also was the longtime host of KERA 13’s Emmy Award-winning public affairs program On the Record. He also won an Emmy in 2008 for KERA’s Sharing the Power: A Voter’s Voice Special, and has earned honors from the Associated Press and the Public Radio News Directors Inc.
Pablo Arauz Peña is the breaking news reporter for KERA News.