The Williamson Central Appraisal District reversed course Tuesday on last month’s decision to disqualify the winning candidate Mike Sanders from CAD Director Position 2. 

Chairman Jon Lux claimed both tax and election codes gave him authority to declare his political opponent, who won by almost 1,600 votes, ineligible because of past property tax delinquencies.

Chris Hilton, a former litigator in the Attorney General’s office, represented Sanders, while Chris Jackson represented WCAD.  The board reviewed Hilton’s correspondence in the executive session according to its agenda. Upon return, Larry Gaddes motioned the board to appoint Sanders, which it did unanimously. Lux was absent from the proceedings. Afterward, Chief Appraiser Alvin Lankford and Vice Chairman Lora Weber emailed Sanders congratulations.

“I’m just glad that in the end, the board could feel comfortable enough to appoint Mr. Sanders unanimously,” Weber stated. “I’m happy with the outcome and look forward to serving with Mr. Sanders going forward.”

“Look, we all make mistakes, and he misinterpreted the law,” Sanders said regarding the process. “But the board did the right thing by overriding what Mr. Lux had done without consulting other members or an attorney. There is no need for litigation or a settlement. The harm done to my name is not as great as the harm that would have been done to the voters of Williamson County.”

Weber confirmed that Lux did not consult the board before his announcement at the May meeting to disqualify Sanders.

“It would have been ex-parte,” Weber explained. “Under the statute, he was the one to make the decision, so it was not something to consult with the board on.” 

If true, this contradicts what Lux had previously told Texas Scorecard in an email.

Mr. Lux, who will remain board chairman, was unavailable for comment.

At the end of the meeting, Weber asked WCAD staff to get Attorney General Paxton’s opinion on the statute to provide a basis for future legislative changes. “It clearly could be interpreted two ways, and I’d like to get that clarified,” Weber said.

Sanders’ swearing-in ceremony will be held at 9 AM on July 11 at the Williamson Central Appraisal District board meeting. Mr. Sanders and the board highly encourage the public to attend the event.

Ian Camacho

Ian Camacho graduated from Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and is a Precinct Chair for the McLennan County Republican Party. @RealIanCamacho.