This is a link to the original article written on Texas Scorecard by Robert Montoya.
Dropping truth bombs and getting to the bottom of the truth: Who filed a case against me and how deep are the layers of this complaint?
We all cannot deny that our property tax system is broken. This have made me realize my calling to serve the community. In 2017, we served 322 homeowners. In 2021, we have helped more than 21,000. This is more than $10 million worth of services for free. We are exerting so much effort to make the people's voices be heard and fix our taxing system. So, I think it is fair to say that these accusations are completely baseless.
On November 1, 2021, I received a letter from the Texas Department of Licensing & Regulation (TDLR) about a complaint against me. This is crazy.
The letter contained three complaints; they alleged that last year, I had “intentionally misled members of the Tarrant Appraisal Review Board” (TARB) when I protested values assigned to properties by TAD. In one case, it alleged that I also misled “Tarrant County taxpayers” and is making a “mockery of the current tax system.”
Nowhere in the document did it identify who specifically filed these complaints. Initially, records obtained by Texas Scorecard show Armstrong used TAD's name and address in mailings. However, the assigned TDLR investigator admitted that Randall "Randy" Armstrong, the director of residential appraisal at TAD, had filed the complaint.
He also used taxpayer-funded tools to interact with TDLR, such as his TAD email address. He signed his emails in such a way that it appeared he was working on behalf of TAD in an official role. It is also concerning to know that if he received the materials while operating in his capacity as a district employee and not through a public information act request, there is a significant conflict.
TAD was served with an open documents request by Texas Scorecard, demanding any requests from Armstrong to the district for the properties named in his complaints that occurred in 2020 and 2021. TAD responded, "The district has no records responsive to your PIA request."
Armstrong's initial complaint was submitted online with TDLR on October 5, 2021, at 3:19 p.m., according to records. Armstrong worked eight hours that day, according to TAD records, and entered the building at 7:54 a.m.
With a timestamp of 3:06 p.m. on October 19, 2021, the second complaint was submitted. He worked 6.5 hours that day, with 1.5 hours given to sick leave to assist his mother, according to TAD records. He initially arrived on TAD property at 9:31 a.m., according to records.
The date the third complaint was filed is unknown based on TDLR documents. With a timestamp of 11:36 a.m. on December 22, 2021, the fourth and last complaint was submitted. Armstrong worked eight hours that day, according to TAD records, and initially entered TAD at 7:53 am.
On June 10, 2022, I confronted the TAD board and asked the following:
- Was it the Tarrant Appraisal District?
- Was it Randy Armstrong?
- How much does Jeff Law support this complaint?
I told them that if I’m guilty, there are an army of people here that are guilty as well, and there’s a big problem that somebody didn’t speak up until this complaint was filed. If I’m innocent, what is the Tarrant Appraisal District okay with? Are they okay with the fact that somebody filed that complaint knowingly? Did Mr. Law know that this complaint was filed?
Matthew Tepper, the board's attorney replied that TAD did not file it and nobody who had the authority of the appraisal district to file the complaint did it.
Law stated that he has not seen the complaints and that is the first time he has seen a portion of the complaints. He later altered his mind, claiming that it wasn't until open records requests were submitted that he discovered the TAD address had been used on TDLR envelopes, and that Armstrong had signed them "Director of Residential Appraisal." He added that Armstrong had filed the complaint on his own and he did not direct Armstrong to submit a complaint against you.
It is clear that TAD's lack of action on this implicates them. The board resolved to discuss the topic in closed session, which will be held in two months. I sincerely hope that we can all get to the bottom of this so we can all unite to serve the community.