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Former Hays County Chief of Staff Alex Villalobos speaks at 2020 Census event at the Hays County Historic Courthouse on Feb. 11, 2020. Daily Record photo by Nick Castillo

County Judge's office staff under review

Villalobos’ resignation preludes conversations regarding Chief of Staff, Executive Assistant positions
Monday, March 29, 2021

The Hays County Commissioners Court will discuss the employment and duties of the Administrative Assistant and Chief of Staff positions in the office of the Hays County Judge during executive session in its Tuesday meeting. 

The items follow the resignation of former Chief of Staff Alex Villalobos in early March after he received a poor performance review and letters from commissioners describing insubordination, lack of truthfulness and inability to complete duties of the position. 

Villalobos consistently scored twos, ones and zeros on his employee evaluation; indicating for his communication, work ethic, accountability, job knowledge and performance that he scored anywhere from “satisfactory” to “unacceptable.”

The Chief of Staff position was placed under the direct supervision of the Commissioners Court during the 2020 fiscal year budget process as a result of a “lack of diligence in managing potential conflicts of interest that could present liabilities to the residents of Hays County,” Commissioner Lon Shell wrote in a letter to Hays County Human Resources Director Shari Miller on Feb. 28 obtained through an open records request.

The goal of moving the position was to ensure Villalobos engaged with each court member on his duties.

“The court has been clear with Mr. Villalobos that he must follow the initiatives of the county, not just a single member of the commissioners court,” Shell wrote. “His obligations can be ascertained by the many votes and comments made by members of the commissioners court. The above examples illustrate that Mr. Villalobos is allowing his political fidelities to overcome his work duties.”

He was also requested to submit written timesheets to, “project both Mr. Villalobos and the county from the concern that Mr. Villalobos was conducting non-county related activities while being compensated by the county,” wrote Commissioner Walt Smith in a letter to Miller on March 2, also obtained through an open records request.

Smith described times when Villalobos filmed a political campaign advertisement with the assistance of a county employee during business hours in the courthouse, made misleading statements and falsehoods to the court, falsified timesheets and failed to produce the requested written timesheets.

One such example Smith details of falsifying his time sheet, was on election day when Villalobos detailed working a full eight hours for the county, including picking up PPE, administration, hurricane preparation and planning and working on a STAR request for nursing staff when he was seen campaigning as a candidate for Sheriff at polling locations.

“What is just as concerning is that according to one set of time sheets, it appears that Villalobos has conducted less on average than three hours a week in the last two months as Chief of Staff,” wrote Smith. 

Shell detailed stories where Villalobos manipulated hiring decisions and acted on his own in conflict with direction provided by commissioners court. 

“As elected officials and employees of the citizens of Hays County, there is a level of trust which must be maintained, and I feel that basic level of trust has been lost and cannot be regained by Mr. Villalobos,” Smith wrote. 

Villalobos has not responded to requests for comment from the Daily Record on two occasions. 

Villalobos remains in his unpaid designation as Emergency Management Coordinator (EMC), assisting with coordinating the county’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and local disaster in collaboration with Emergency Services Director (ESD) Mike Jones. For many years the precedent was that the ESD also held the EMC designation, but Hays County Judge Ruben Becerra appointed Villalobos instead. 

Tuesday's commissioner's court meeting begins at 9 a.m. at the Hays County Historic Courthouse — 111 E. San Antonio St.

San Marcos Record

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P.O. Box 1109, San Marcos, TX 78666