Texas, Taking a Bit of A Different Take than Utah…

A Texas lawmaker wants to ban e-mails, text messages and Internet postings by city and state leaders when they are doing the public’s business.

A bill by Rep. Todd Hunter of Corpus Christi would amend the Texas Open Meetings Act. The proposal, H.B. 2977, says an official would be committing an offense if he or she transmits an electronic message during a public meeting.

The Austin American-Statesman reports, for today’s editions, that Hunter is considering how violators should be punished. Hunter also says the update is necessary for Texas to take the open-meetings law into the digital age.

The Corpus Christi Caller-Times reports Hunter became involved in the issue after a spat during a city council meeting involving two members texting each other.

 

Austin Wrestles With E-Mail and FOI

The Austin American Statesman had an interesting piece on e-mail access:

Worried that Austin City Council members may not have turned over all of their emails, officials are bringing in city technology experts as they make a new attempt at complying with the state’s open records law.

Information technology workers are compiling the records — emails among council members and City Manager Marc Ott during the past 13 months — requested by the American-Statesman and other media, amid allegations that the city’s first release of records was incomplete.

The new effort has already triggered the release of more emails from Mayor Lee Leffingwell, who last week made public 75 more correspondences, some of which were from an “automatic archiving system,” officials said.

 

An indictment for sharing information?

Map of Texas highlighting Nueces County
Image via Wikipedia

This is an incredible story

A Nueces County grand jury on Friday indicted the executive director of the Texas Commission on Jail Standards on two felony counts related to the release of information about an inmate suicide.

Adan Munoz, 62, was indicted on two counts of misuse of official information, according to online court records.

District Attorney Anna Jimenez said the charges stem from allegations that Munoz released a document to KIII-TV reporter Rudy Trevino and Caller-Times reporter Jaime Powell that related to a suicide at the Nueces County Jail.

Munoz has not been arrested and said he only heard about the allegations from reporters. He had no further comment on the indictment.

Nueces County Sheriff Jim Kaelin said Munoz responded to a public records request from at least one reporter by sending a document from an ongoing criminal investigation at the Nueces County Jail.

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