WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — Sheriff-elect Robert Chody says he first reached out to current Sheriff James Wilson about eight months ago after he won the primary, requesting to meet at the sheriff’s office to help with a smooth transition. To this day, Chody says he still hasn’t received a clear answer.
Chody unleashed his frustration on Facebook calling a lack of response from the current sheriff ‘another example of leadership failure.’ “In some aspects I’m disappointed, I feel we’re above that,” said Chody during an interview.
However Sheriff James Wilson says he has no problems with Chody and he wants to see him succeed. Wilson says he didn’t want Chody coming in too early and making employees nervous about their jobs. “Instead of being focused on their job, they would be too focused on ‘Am I going to get fired,'” explains Wilson.
Chody makes the same argument, but he says by not coming in before he takes office, staff will be wondering in fear about their job security. “[They] are anxious, nervous about the future because they don’t know what it holds for them,” says Chody.
Wilson points to an example of the affects Chody is already having on some employees. He says morale was low at work this week, after Chody sent an email to nine employees, saying they would be fired once he took office.
Another concern Chody has with not getting into the office sooner is knowing what’s happening financially before he takes office. “You’re talking about money that is going to be spent on items that, maybe, I don’t have the same desire to go in that direction because I feel like I’m saving the county money.”
Sheriff Wilson argues the budget was done in October and that Chody has access to that information. “He could call us any time. I did not make any significant moves in the last three months without calling.”
Chody takes office on January 1st. Wilson says he had planned to bring Chody in early this week to meet, but a date still hasn’t been set.
Robert Chody is currently a constable in Williamson County’s precinct one. He’s also a former Austin Police Department officer, which is where he worked in 2001 when he and his wife won the $85 million Texas Lotto Jackpot.