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Posts Tagged ‘open records’

Abbott does one last solid for Perry

He lets him keep his little secrets. After critics raised a stink about the tax dollars being spent to provide security for Gov. Rick Perry while he was gearing up to run for president, lawmakers passed a bill in 2011 designed to let Texans know — eventually — what they were getting for their money. […]

Sam Houston enters the chemical disclosure fray

From the inbox: Sam Houston, Democratic Nominee for Texas Attorney General, today promised to reverse the current AG’s letter ruling on the release of the locations of dangerous chemicals, putting the safety of our families and children first. “I have reviewed the law that General Abbott cited when his office upheld the state health department’s […]

Close enough for Greg Abbott

What more do you need to know? Attorney General Greg Abbott first stirred things up by saying the state would not release information about the locations and amounts of hazardous chemicals held by private companies, reversing nearly three decades of public disclosure. The Republican front-runner for governor then suggested Texans could “drive around” to find […]

Davis takes her attack on Abbott’s chemical info obstruction on the road

Keeping it going. Democratic Sen. Wendy Davis on Tuesday recalled the deadly explosion just up the road in West as she lambasted her GOP opponent for governor, Attorney General Greg Abbott, over his decision restricting disclosure of information about chemical facilities’ hazardous caches. “Texans deserve to know where these chemicals are located,” Davis told supporters […]

Why would you want to regulate that?

I mean, what are a few fiery explosions among friends? Members of the state House Homeland Security and Public Safety Committee have been struggling for several months over how to respond to last year’s massive explosion at the West Fertilizer Co. that killed 15 and devastated the nearby city of West. On Tuesday, committee Chairman […]

Tracking city performance

Cool. The City of Houston launched a website Monday pulling from a massive database of 311 service requests that allows visitors to create custom graphs counting everything from bad tasting water and missed yard waste pickups to storm sewer odors and traffic signal timing. The site also includes links to the most recent quarterly performance report to the mayor, the site’s Data Portal website where it hopes to inspire civic-minded […]

Who watches the private police departments?

Not good. A veteran state lawmaker said Monday he is outraged by televised images of Rice University police officers striking a suspected bicycle thief with batons and appalled the university can refuse to release details because it is a private institution. “We need to make certain we stop police officers from being able to hide […]

“Poopgate” is a big load of…

Well, you know. Documents released Monday by the Texas Department of Public Safety’s provided no new evidence that officers found one jar of urine and 18 containers of feces at the Capitol before a July 12 debate on a controversial abortion bill. DPS released a press statement the day of the debate that said officers […]

Texas Watchdog followup on HCC reports

So after I published those HCC Trustee campaign finance reports, I got an email from Jennifer Peebles of Texas Watchdog, who asked me if I had redacted the files to hide the mailing addresses of the trustees and their donors. I said no, I had uploaded exactly what they gave me. Turns out they should […]

DA clears Metro

Nice. Months after prosecutors took boxes of documents from Metro’s downtown headquarters and experts examined the agency’s computers, the investigation into allegations that Metropolitan Transit Authority administrators illegally destroyed public documents has ended, Metro officials said today. In a letter to METRO, the Harris County District Attorney’s office wrote, “Our investigation found no evidence of […]

The Metro settlement agreement

I presume we’ll get some more details in the morning, but for now I wanted to highlight one aspect of the story of Metro’s settlement agreement with Lloyd Kelley. The suit accused Metro and several of its top officials, including then-President Frank J. Wilson, of destroying documents Kelley requested under the Texas Public Information Act. […]

More on the Metro lawsuit settlement

As we know, the Metro document shredding lawsuit has been pulled from the court docket in anticipation of a settlement agreement. The Chron has more on what that settlement agreement might entail. The proposed settlement of an open-records lawsuit against the Metropolitan Transit Authority would require Metro to pay the legal fees of the plaintiff, […]

New frontiers in open meeting laws

There’s an awful lot here to think about. The Texas Legislature may become the first in the nation to tackle whether tweeting and texting is being used to circumvent open meetings laws and whether the private devices of public officials can be subject to open records searches. “They are new tools to communicate with constituents […]

Got evidence?

If you saw Wednesday night’s rather sensational coverage of the allegations that Metro CEO Frank Wilson had an “improper” relationship with an employee, you would have come away with the impression that things were about to go all Chuck Rosenthal at that agency. But if you read this Houston Politics post about that hearing, you […]

Kelley claims Metro is holding out

So now the Metro document shredding case gets more interesting. Documents supplied by the Metropolitan Transit Authority in response to Houston attorney and former City Controller Lloyd Kelley’s open records request were incomplete and “sanitized,” Kelley said Friday. “I know for a fact that I didn’t get all the e-mails,” said Kelley, adding that people […]

Please don’t shred the documents

This isn’t good. At a crucial moment in the development of its light rail system, Metro confronted accusations Wednesday that it shredded documents sought in an open-records request, then fired two attorneys who objected to its handling of the request. State District Judge Robert Shaffer signed a temporary restraining order forbidding the Metropolitan Transit Authority […]

Chron sues Perry over clemency files

Good for them. The Houston Chronicle and Hearst Newspapers LLC are suing Gov. Rick Perry in an effort to force the release of a clemency report Perry received before denying a stay of execution to Cameron Todd Willingham. The report is a summary and status of the case against Willingham that was given to Perry […]

HISD set to hire Grier

But not without some drama first. The Houston school board is expected to officially hire Terry Grier as superintendent Thursday and offer him a multiyear contract that is likely to top $400,000 a year in salary and perks over time. Three weeks of intense negotiations on the deal dragged into Wednesday evening, with trustees trying […]

Craddick’s cleanup

I’m amused by this. Before the House voted Speaker Tom Craddick out of his powerful job, state officials wiped his computers clean and deleted scores of electronic files, raising concerns that important public records may have been destroyed. Files on one shared computer network drive were saved, but unless Craddick specifically requested them, computer hard […]