Williamson County sheriff’s deputy claims he was fired for reporting theft by sheriff

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A Williamson County sheriff’s deputy claims in a lawsuit that he was fired in July for reporting that he had witnessed Sheriff Robert Chody using county personnel and property for personal gain, KXAN-TV reported.

In his lawsuit that claims a violation of the Texas Whistleblower Act, Brian Johns seeks reinstatement to his previous job as a detective investigating auto theft cases, as well as lost pay since he was fired.

The document states that Johns witnessed the county vehicle fleet manager doing work on Chody’s personal Polaris all-terrain vehicle, and later discovered that the manager had installed a county-owned battery and kill switch on the vehicle.

The lawsuit also says that the sheriff’s office engaged in illegal wiretapping of Johns’ attorney. 

Johns, then president of the Williamson County Deputies Association, reported these allegations to the Texas Rangers, but the suit says the Rangers declined to become involved.

Johns then reported the battery theft to Williamson County Attorney Dee Hobbs, who investigated the incident and said what Chody did wasn’t illegal because he also used the Polaris for sheriff’s office needs, the suit says.

Johns was charged with insubordination and dereliction of duty on July 3 and relieved of his position, according to the suit.

“These charges were not valid and were actually made up in retaliation for Plaintiff reporting the illegal activities of the Sheriff and of WCSO,” the court document states.

The sheriff’s office did not respond to the TV station’s request for comment.

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