SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) — Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff sent a letter to Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar Monday informing him he will not allow the use of donated funds for a boat because of social media commentary by the donor and internet discourse.
Black Rifle Coffee Company earlier this month donated $32,000 to the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office to support search and rescue training.
In his letter to the sheriff Monday, Wolff — a Democrat — wrote to the sheriff — also a Democrat — that he is taking “a stand against what has developed into one of the ugliest and most blatant displays of sexism and personal attacks that I have ever seen in the 50 years I have been in politics.”
Salazar had sought approval in April to accept a donated $20,000 boat for rescue and recovery efforts, but that was derailed by some opposition by the commissioners court.
“I’m going to be blunt here. I think it’s insulting and I think it’s insensitive that you’re spending $20,000 on a shiny new toy or a boat,” Commissioner Trish DeBerry — a Republican — told the sheriff at the time.
“I do beg to differ. It’s not a shiny new toy,” the sheriff responded then. “It’s something that we’ve seen a need for.”
Wolff said the commissioners court had not been briefed by Salazar since that exchange and only found out about Black Rifle Coffee Company’s donation through a newspaper article.
The county judge said the company’s co-owner, Jarred Taylor, posted on Instagram an attack on DeBerry, saying, “Black Coffee will step in and make sure our community have what we need as you on your high horse and fail the people you serve. Good luck on your next election season because I will be making my own ads free of charge for you.”
Wolff said that post led to other social media posts like:
“BRCC taking down one Sh*tty politician at a time”
“What rhymes with bunt and starts with the next letter in the alphabet”
“Her son looks like he roofies girls at parties and gets his mommy to make it go away”
The county judge then accused the sheriff of ignoring the commentary.
Wolff stated that while Black Rifle Coffee Company has a right to make any donation it wishes to the sheriff’s private foundation, the county judge said Salazar is required to go before the commissioners court to get approval to use it for his office’s operations.
Wolff said he would not only oppose the use of the money for buying a boat, he will also oppose it for any county purpose. Though, the Democrat told his fellow Democrat that if Salazar provides the cost details of obtaining and operating the boat, he would consider the purchase of such a vessel using county funds.
Along with the letter, Wolff included a memo from Bexar County District Attorney Joe Gonzales regarding the commissioners court’s role in accepting or declining gifts presented to county officials, which states that the court does have final say over the funds.