"If you encounter a bully, you go tell your teacher and you go through the process. That's what we're doing here we're being bullied by the CEO of this company and we're going through the process, the judicial process." Williamson County Sheriff Robert Chody says his chief deputy, Tim Ryle, was at Tuesday’s commissioner’s court meeting.
At that meeting, Lyle attempted to shake Judge Gattis' hand. "The judge denied it and pointed his finger at his chest and said something to the effect of you tell your sheriff to quit tweeting or I'm going to zero out his budget." Lyle asked if Gattis wanted him to relay the message to Chody. Gattis, said yes.
"When I did get the call and it was explained to me, I thought it was a joke. I was in disbelief and I questioned him a bunch of times and tried to see where the punchline was at. I mean you're talking about the CEO of the county."
Chody says as soon as he realized the threat was real, he decided to take legal action.
And now the county judge has been charged with official oppression.
"And tongue and cheek or not he wants to idly threat about zeroing my budget out obviously I don't think he has the ability to do that because he has to have other court members but it worries me because what is he doing behind the scenes."
Sheriff Chody says hearing this is a huge deal because his department already has staffing and response time issues. He believes the feud with Gattis is over things he's said on Twitter.
"One where I said about elected officials and county department heads because in his comment he said to quit talking about my people, he meant his department heads. I know that I had a duty for one this is my chief deputy that works for me, and he also works for the county that essentially works for the CEO and he was threatened at some level because of my freedom of speech."
Chody also says his social media account is something he's been doing for about a year and half, and he has no plans on slowing down posts about the county's wins and losses. He says his Twitter account has made Williamson County relevant and something they've needed for a long time.
He also believes its increased morale on both the community and employee sides.
Chody says he and the county judge Gattis were cordial before this situation. FOX 7 Austin contacted Gattis' office for a statement about the oppression charge.
We were told there would be no comment regarding this case.