Explosive growth, winter storm Uri, increased property tax valuations, a new water source and key political figures who were thrust into the limelight were just a few Collin County highlights of 2022.
On Halloween, a federal lawsuit was filed against Collin County District Attorney Greg Willis, First Assistant District Attorney Bill Wirskye, County Judge Chris Hill and County Commissioners Darrell Hale, Susan Fletcher, Cheryl Williams and Duncan Webb.
The suit was filed by current and former employees in the district attorney’s office. According to the lawsuit, “Defendant Willis’ created a highly toxic workplace by targeting female employees to try to flirt with or to direct outright sexual advances,” the lawsuit said. As for Wirskye, according to the lawsuit, he ran his office in a manner considered “a crass, misogynistic fraternity complete with systemic hazing of the county’s attorneys, investigators and staff.”
Willis denied the claims during a Nov. 16 press conference saying, “these accusations are false” and “the things they allege simply did not happen.”
Since Willis’ press conference, the Collin County Commissioner’s Court has contracted law firms to represent both Wirskye and Hill and the commissioners.
Another notable politician was thrust into the limelight earlier this year. U.S. Rep. Van Taylor withdrew from the Republican race for District 3 after news surfaced of an extramarital affair between Taylor and Tania Joya, a former jihadist, that lasted several months.
“About a year ago, I made a horrible mistake that has caused deep hurt and pain among those I love most in this world,” Taylor wrote in an email to supporters after his March 2 announcement. “I had an affair, it was wrong, and it was the greatest failure of my life.”
Taylor’s withdrawal from the race one day after the March 1 primary cleared the path for Republican nominee Keith Self, the current representative-elect for District 3.
Wylie resident Guy Reffitt, a member of a far-right militia group known as the Texas Three Percenters, was the first defendant to stand trial in March on charges stemming from his role in the Capitol riot. Reffitt was found guilty of all five charges he faced and received an 87-month prison sentence by a federal judge in August.
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