WILLIAMSON COUNTY, TX (KXAN) – With his family in tow, Dee Hobbs stepped on a man outside the old courthouse, put his hand on a Bible, and swore his oath of office. The January 4th swearing in officially marked the start of Hobbs’ second term as the Williamson County’s elected attorney.
That same morning, Hobbs found himself in a virtual swearing-in ceremony where his district attorney staff took a similar oath.
Williamson County Sheriff Robert Chody and former Williamson County Attorney General Jason Nassour were each indicted on September 25, 2020, on a number of pieces of evidence tampered with in the death of Javier Ambler in custody in March 2019.
Among those who were virtually sworn in: Jason Nassour.
“Jason Nassour is an entry-level attorney with the Attorney General at a salary of $ 67,657.46 and serves as General Counsel,” Hobbs’ office wrote in an email to KXAN on Jan. 14. in the ceremony happened on January 4th.
Nassour is a co-defendant in the ongoing criminal investigation into the death of Javier Ambler. Ambler died after his arrest in March 2019 while two live PD cameras recorded the arrest. The video shows Ambler telling Williamson County MPs JJ Johnson and Zachary Camden that he could not breathe when the two tried to handcuff Ambler.
In September 2020, the Williamson County Grand Jury sued Nassour and then Williamson County Sheriff Robert Chody each for tampering with evidence. The indictment alleges that both men “while acting individually and as a party with one another, knowing that an investigation was pending or ongoing … destroying or hiding a record or document,” as in the Investigation of Ambler death stated.
Williamson County Sheriff Robert Chody has been charged and arrested for tampering with evidence in the Javier Ambler case
Williamson County District Attorney Shawn Dick later confirmed that the evidence was live PD video footage of Ambler’s arrest.
Nassor and Chody did so “with the intention of compromising their availability as evidence in the investigation,” the prosecution alleged. Both men pleaded not guilty after booking at the county jail.
Williamson County attorney Dee Hobbs will be sworn in before the Williamson County Courthouse on January 4, 2021 for his second term. Hobbs has continued Jason Nassour’s tenure as general counsel in his office. (KXAN Photo / Jody Barr)
Both Nassour and Chody are under investigation in Travis County, Dick KXAN said at a September press conference announcing the charges. The Travis County Attorney’s Office is investigating similar crimes found in the Williamson County Grand Jury investigation, Dick confirmed.
A decision by the Travis County Grand Jury was originally expected sometime this month, former Travis County Attorney Margaret Moore said in September. However, newly elected Travis County Attorney Jose Garza issued a statement on Jan. 14 stating that he intended to bring the Ambler case to the grand jury by the end of March.
Garza said the Ambler case is pending and is still being investigated by his office’s Civil Rights Unit.
The indicted Williamson County Sheriff Robert Chody appears for the first time in court
Chody lost his re-election offer just weeks after his arrest. At the time of Ambler’s arrest, Nassour was serving as Hobbs’ general counsel. Nassour maintained a remote office. Nassour’s position was estimated at $ 177,000 in the 2019-2020 county budget.
Hobbs’ office has not yet answered our questions about Nassour’s employment status following the September 25, 2020 indictment, or whether he has ever taken paid vacation.
Messages sent to Nassour have not yet been replied to.