TAD Employees Facing Termination for Allegedly Unauthorized Complaint

Real Estate

The public turned out in droves for a June 30 TAD meeting | Image by Texas Scorecard

Accusers of Chandler Crouch, a realtor who has reportedly helped thousands of Tarrant County residents challenge their property tax assessments, are under investigation and could face termination for allegedly making an improper complaint.

Randy Armstrong and Jeff Law, two of the highest-ranking employees in the Tarrant Appraisal District (TAD), allegedly used County resources and the official TAD letterhead to file a personal complaint with the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) against the well-known realtor.

TAD officials are set to hold a meeting to consider the possibility of terminating Armstrong, the director of residential assessment at TAD and the author of the complaint. The same considerations will be made for Jeff Law, TAD’s executive director, who is accused of being aware of Armstrong’s filing.

The public turned out in droves for a June 30 TAD meeting, lining up outside the building to speak.

Many were there to defend Crouch. “If it weren’t for Chandler Crouch, I wouldn’t have a house,” one property owner standing in line said. Others called for the firing of both Armstrong and Law, WFAA reported.

Another defended Armstrong as having merely exercised his right to free speech. Some speakers complained about the appraisal process and alleged that the board has been corrupted, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.

The board listened to public comments for more than four hours during the meeting. Because the meeting room was small, many of the speakers waited outside for hours in near 100-degree temperatures before being escorted inside the building for their turn to speak.

Kathryn Wilemon, the board chairwoman, said, “We haven’t had this many people come to a TAD meeting ever.”

During the meeting, the board read aloud a letter it approved to send to the TDLR, which stated that Armstrong “did not have the permission or authority of the Tarrant Appraisal District to file the TDLR complaint on its behalf.”

As reported by The Dallas Express, Armstrong’s complaint, which was filed in his official capacity as an official of the TAD, accused Crouch of presenting “[m]isrepresentations of fact in TARB (Tarrant Assessment Review Board) hearings to achieve unwarranted value reductions.”

He alleged that Crouch had misled TARB members while testifying in an appraisal hearing a year ago.

The complaint claimed that Crouch had listed a property in Colleyville marketed for approximately $2.5 million but, in testimony before the review board, stated that the home’s market value was about $880,000.

Crouch explained in a response published on his website that the $2.5 million listed on the website was a sum from three separate property tax accounts, not the singular account about which he testified.

According to Crouch, the assets comprised a total of 4.72 acres, two dwellings, two barns, and an apartment, as opposed to the one 4,871-square-foot listing on 1.76 acres mentioned in Armstrong’s complaint.

“This is not even close to an equivalent comparison,” he wrote.

In the complaint, Crouch was also accused of making a “mockery of the current tax system.”

Armstrong alleged that Crouch was dishonoring “the Texas Association of Property Tax Consultants, Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, Institute for Professionals in Taxation and the Texas Property Tax Industry as a whole.”

Crouch stated in his response letter that the complaint lacked any basis in logic and was motivated solely by emotion.

“How are any of these other entities relevant to anything concerning a TDLR complaint?” Crouch asked.

In his complaint, Armstrong asserted that Crouch posed a threat to the yearly property value performance analysis process conducted by the TAD and that his actions merited a comprehensive and serious inquiry.

Crouch agreed that an investigation was warranted but suggested it should be directed against the TAD. He argued Armstrong’s efforts to silence him about challenging property valuations constituted an assault on his First Amendment rights.

In a statement to The Dallas Express, TAD’s Director Law said, The Tarrant Appraisal District has no intentions of deterring any tax agent’s ability to help property owners with their property tax protest.”

The executive director maintains that he was not aware of the complaint’s filing.

“The appraisal district has not filed a complaint against any individual since I have been chief appraiser, and TAD is taking steps to assure (sic) an appropriate review of all the circumstances concerning this issue,” Law added.

Crouch has been a frequent guest on local news programs, discussing the procedure for challenging North Texas property assessments and urging residents to do so.

Crouch’s real estate company assisted 22,000 persons in 2021 in challenging their property valuations, according to the realtor, who claimed the property tax assessments were reduced 90% of the time.

“Everyone should protest every single year for a few reasons,” Crouch said. “Number one, you just don’t have anything to lose.”

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