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Investigation Finds No Sign of Exposure of Tarrant County Taxpayer Information

A potential breach in 2022 led to the investigation as well as leadership changes.

An investigation into a potential security breach of Tarrant Appraisal District (TAD) computers found that no taxpayer information was compromised.

Round Rock attorney Matthew Tepper delivered the update in late December at a TAD board meeting and said that while it was possible to access taxpayers’ confidential information, there was no evidence that happened.

The potential breach happened in 2022.

“There were two different pieces of malicious software, which did make their way onto [TAD's] system that were placed there by some sort of a bad actor who should not have had access to the system,” Tepper said. “Fortunately for [TAD], and all the public in Tarrant County, when that malware was launched, they failed. So as a result, there was not a negative impact that was made.”

A full report was set to be released at the end of the year, according to appraisal board chairman Tony Pompa.

Rich DeOtte, board secretary, commended whistleblowers who spoke out about the deficiencies.

“We are where we are because there are truth tellers,” DeOtte said.

In August the Fort Worth Star-Telegram obtained a recording of a meeting during which TAD’s former head of information systems said he supported creating a “false narrative” to media over the problems with the website.

The revamped website was plagued with problems after value notices were sent in April. Pages failed to load or timed out and an option to protest was missing for weeks.

©2023 Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.