You’ve probably heard a lot about the “elf photos” These were part of a Twisted Elf Facebook album that Williamson County Commander Steve Deaton published. He took time to create the images and then post them on Facebook. We have screenshots of several going back to November of 2017, after he was appointed Commander by Sheriff Robert Chody, at least two of which we have record of Chody “liking” and one that Judge Bill Gravell “liked”. Deaton created the album at least as early as 2017, but then again in 2018. In April of 2019, two citizens brought the images to the attention of Sheriff Chody via Facebook messages. (screenshots below). Chody gave one person a written response, then a thumbs up. The other, better known as “Sarah” from the SPLC article and now known by her actual name Michelle in the Patch article, received nothing but a thumbs down. The first article was by the SPLC on 8/1/19 and at that time Chody had no comment.

In an article with the Hill Country News on August 5, 2o19, Chody said he was “still looking into the matter”.

“still looking into the matter.”
Robert Chody 8/5/19

In the article by the Statesman on 8/2/19, they revealed that Deaton’s personnel file, received via Open Records Request, show no disciplinary action.

Chody gave a standard response to several news agencies, saying “I am heading back in town from out of state and will address the issue more in depth. I will say I do not condone the posts and the one like from me was related to standing for the U.S. flag, and only that. As a veteran, I am very passionate about the issue of standing for our U.S. flag and completely overlooked the obvious. That was a mistake on my part. Any other matters I will address when I return.” We have yet to get the more in depth response. The article in the Patch dated 8/12/19 was the first time he mentioned that he had disciplined Deaton.

Chody is now stating that this was all dealt with 8 months ago. He has said that when he saw the elf photos he wasn’t happy and had Deaton take them down. But it’s clear he saw them in 2017 and Deaton posted them again in 2018, and they were STILL published in April of 2019. Remember, the Statesman Open Records Request in August of 2019 revealed NO disciplinary records in Deaton’s personnel file.