SAN ANTONIO - Sleeping on the job - The News 4 WOAI Trouble Shooters see an elected official nodding off several times, when he should have been paying attention.
Sources in the courthouse approached News 4 WOAI’s Mireya Villarreal with their concerns about Tommy Adkisson sleeping during Commissioner's Court. So, she attended several of his meetings over the last few months and caught him, on camera, nodding off. His explanation - He's just bored.
On August 30th of this year Commissioner's Court was discussing budgets. The Constable for Precinct 3 was fighting for more funds, while the sheriff's department is trying to keep what they have. During the back and forth discussions we see Tommy Adkisson taking a break. At first, it looks like he's trying to fight the urge, but after a few seconds he leans back and takes a nap.
More than a month later, he is seen at a MPO meeting on October 22nd. This is an organization that oversees a lot of the construction projects that affect your drive. Tommy is the chair of this organization and in charge of running the meetings.
But once again our camera shows him unsuccessfully fighting the urge to nod off.
A day later we're back in Commissioner's Court on October 23rd. Several times during this meeting we catch Commissioner Adkisson closing his eyes for what looks like a cat nap. At one point his face is so close to his desk it looks like he might fall forward.
Mireya Villarreal: What would you call this?
Commissioner Tommy Adkisson: Bored
Mireya Villarreal: Bored?
Commissioner Tommy Adkisson: Absolutely!
We took our video to Commissioner Adkisson and asked him why he consistently falls asleep in meetings where big decisions are being made.
Mireya Villarreal: How can you call the sheriff's department budget boring?
Commissioner Tommy Adkisson: I didn't call it boring.
Mireya Villarreal: But that's when you nodded off.
Commissioner Tommy Adkisson: Ok. You have no earthly idea how much time I spend talking to deputy sheriffs and the sheriff himself and the personnel here with the county and the county manager and all them about all these issues. And you take one moment in time and say, bottom line, F.
At every meeting we attended we also saw Commissioner Adkisson making an effort to stay awake. So, we asked could there be any health issues.
"No problem, I'm doing great,” Adkisson told us. “My heart's doing great. But I will continue checking other aspects."
Tommy says he attends so many functions and is involved with so many organizations, sometimes he gets a little rundown. But he doesn't believe his inability to stay awake affects his ability to serve his precinct.
"If you want to get all fixated and focused on one dimension. Yes it has been recurrent, but not nearly so recurrent as my stellar efforts to advance this community on a range of fronts,” he noted. “I've given more speeches than probably anyone on this court, including the county judge."
Commissioner Adkisson's Response - Monday
Monday afternoon Commissioner Adkisson called us, asking for another opportunity to talk about this. We agreed. Here's part of what he had to say.
"In a given moment or two you might have a little, little time where you're just kind of taking a moment to catch your breath,” Commissioner Adkisson explained. “And so, I don't think that a moment of catching your breath or a moment of being in neutral, so to speak, means that you're not capable of doing all the things that I've ever done."
Commissioner Adkisson says he's checked his allergies and his cholesterol levels and both have come back A-OK. Now he's waiting on results from his ear, nose and throat specialist.