SAN ANTONIO – In a scathing letter to Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar, Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff criticized the law enforcement leader saying Salazar encouraged and ignored social media attacks by an owner of the Black Rifle Coffee Company toward Precinct 3 Commissioner Trish DeBerry.
In the letter dated June 14, Wolff blamed Salazar for allowing the situation that he called “one of the ugliest and most blatant displays of sexism and personal attacks that I have ever seen in the fifty years I have been in politics,” to get out of control.
Wolff said the social media attacks made by Jarred Taylor, one of the owners of the coffee company, began one day after the Commissioners Court delayed the purchase of a boat for BCSO until the sheriff provided the court with costs for upkeep on the boat that taxpayers would need to pay. After the meeting, Salazar accepted a $32,000 donation in the form of a mock check from Taylor and his company to buy that boat.
The letter states that Taylor then attacked DeBerry on his Instagram account for questioning Salazar about the boat purchase and the upkeep.
“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 because I will be making my own ads free of charge,” the post said.
Wolff said the post set the stage for hundreds of “vile and despicable posts which attack DeBerry as a woman, as a leader and her family, including comments such as ‘BRCC (Black Rifle Coffee Company) taking down one Sh*tty politician at a time.”
The county judge then heavily criticized Salazar for not taking action and allowing the attacks to escalate.
“It is beyond reprehensible when community leaders encourage such behavior for political purposes. More importantly, what does it say when other community leaders ignore that behavior and allow it to continue publicly without uniting in condemnation of it? The despicable behavior displayed in this matter is no less an affront to human dignity and the values of tolerance and respect that we as a community share -- it should not be tolerated,” Wolff said.
Wolff ended the letter by saying that the boat cannot be purchased with money from the Black Rifle Coffee Company and he would support the purchase of a boat if it involves county funds and a plan to maintain it.
Commissioner Trish DeBerry says she’s considering filing a police report because the threats were against her and her family. She too blames Salazar for instigating the attack.
“As one of the first females on the court in some twenty five years, it’s incredibly disappointing to me for me to see 800 texts that are offensive, foul, and vile,” she said. “I don’t necessarily blame Black Rifle Coffee Company because I don’t think they were given the full story regarding my questions. And I blame the sheriff for not giving the full context.” DeBerry says the April delay was not a delay it was a request for more justification into the use of tax dollars.
DeBerry also expressed concern that the Sheriff had not reached out to her directly regarding the threats against her, but that one of the leaders in his staff was well aware of them.
Salazar released the following statement in regards to Wolff’s letter:
“I’ve received Judge Wolff’s correspondence and understand his stance. The first I saw of any specific comments regarding this issue were the ones apparently cut and pasted into Judge Wolff’s letter. We are in the process of preparing a follow up presentation regarding a patrol/rescue boat to Commissioner’s Court, which will not be at tax-payer expense. The unfortunate area drowning deaths being reported on as I write this—illustrate our need for this lifesaving equipment in Bexar County.”
Wolff’s letter can be read below in its entirety.
*Editor’s Note: KSAT edited one expletive in the following document, replacing three letters with asterisks.