Tarrant County Commissioners Court unanimously approved a “vote of no confidence” in the troubled Tarrant Appraisal District’s top executive, Chief Appraiser Jeff Law, and urged the TAD board of directors to fire him “effective immediately.”

Tuesday’s vote followed a series of scandals in recent years under Law’s leadership of the appraisal district, which sets property values for tax purposes.

“Tarrant County taxpayers are not being well served by one entity: TAD,” said County Judge Tim O’Hare during Tuesday’s Commissioners Court meeting. “Our taxpayers deserve stability and consistency. None of these apply to our appraisal district.”

O’Hare said Law “has been the common denominator” throughout all of the failures within the agency—from technology problems that hampered property owners’ ability to challenge their appraisals, to ethical lapses by Law and other top executives within the agency.

While the TAD board has undergone changes, O’Hare said Law’s day-to-day management “continues to be a source of frustration and outrage.”

“The buck has to stop at the top,” he added.

Commissioner Roy Charles Brooks said he’s had “no confidence” in Law for years due to Law’s ongoing “mismanagement” of TAD.

“He provides a profound lack of leadership to that organization and does not get better year over year,” said Brooks.

Commissioner Alisa Simmons thanked the advocates who had “come to this court time after time,” asking commissioners to take action on the appraisal district problems.

“Thank you for not giving up the fight,” she said. “Your Commissioners Court is finally going to do something.”

Commissioner Gary Fickes said that contrary to public perception, the appraisal district is not part of the Commissioners Court, so the court can’t direct the agency’s actions. But he said the court’s call to replace Law is “way overdue.”

“We never had the authority to make them do anything,” Brooks agreed. “But this will be a historic act.”

He said if TAD’s directors ignore the county’s request to replace Law, “they ignore it at their own peril.”

The county, cities, and other local taxing entities that are served by TAD and fund its operations have no direct authority over the appraisal district’s operations. However, they do select TAD board members every two years. The entities will nominate candidates this October and vote to select five directors in December.

On Monday night, the Mansfield City Council also unanimously approved a resolution demanding the TAD board appoint a new chief appraiser.

Mayors of three other cities—Keller, Southlake, and Colleyville—have said they will consider votes of no confidence in Law at their upcoming city council meetings in September unless the TAD board takes action to remove Law before then.

According to Board Secretary Rich DeOtte, the next scheduled meeting of the Tarrant Appraisal District Board of Directors will be held on September 14.

Erin Anderson

Erin Anderson is a Senior Journalist for Texas Scorecard, reporting on state and local issues, events, and government actions that impact people in communities throughout Texas and the DFW Metroplex. A native Texan, Erin grew up in the Houston area and now lives in Collin County.