Hood County has hired Jeff Law, the scandal-plagued former head of the Tarrant Appraisal District, as its new chief appraiser.
The hiring marks a homecoming for Law, who previously worked as the Hood Central Appraisal District’s chief appraiser for 10 years before moving to the Tarrant County job in 2008.
Law recently resigned as Tarrant’s chief appraiser amid accusations that his leadership failures eroded public confidence in the appraisal district, which sets property values for tax purposes.
His last day at TAD was September 6.
The following day, Hood Central Appraisal District announced it had re-hired Law.
The announcement said Law is expected to start at HCAD in mid-September “working to rebuild the trust of the tax units in Hood County as well as with its citizens.”
But he returns to his role as head of HCAD while the agency is dealing with its own public trust issues.
Hood County taxing entities recently discovered that the agency had been diverting money budgeted for agency operations to other uses for several years.
HCAD is funded by taxing entities within the district, using some of the property tax dollars collected from local taxpayers. Each entity’s portion of the appraisal district’s annual budget is proportional to the tax revenue it collects.
The agency had reportedly set aside some of the funds for constructing a new HCAD office building.
Officials say a portion of the money was already spent on design plans for the new building. However, the appraisal district was forced to return the remaining funds to the taxing entities, including $1.1 million to Granbury Independent School District and $552,000 to Hood County.
As the budget issues unfolded, the HCAD board unanimously chose Law as the new chief appraiser despite the controversies under his leadership in Tarrant County.
Law replaces Eddie Roe, who resigned in May after three years as Hood County’s chief appraiser, saying he didn’t have the right personality for the job.
HCAD Board Chairman Eddie Rodriguez, who also serves on Granbury City Council, said Law meets the appraisal district’s experience and leadership criteria.