The Texas Supreme Court created a loophole in the Texas Public Information Act when it delivered its decision in Boeing v. Paxton last year. The ruling allowed Texas governments to withhold information if disclosing the information would cause competitive harm.
Our city is leading the charge by refusing to release some emails that the Times has requested.
On second thought
Section 552.301 of the Texas Government Code says:
The government body must ask for the attorney general’s decision and state the exceptions that apply within a reasonable time but not later than the 10th business day after the date of receiving the written request.
The Times requested some information.
The city objected and wrote their required letter to the attorney general citing 25 reasons why they believed they should be able to withhold the information. They did not mention Boeing v. Paxton.
Last week the city recognized that the court decision would help their argument and sent a second letter to the attorney general.
Section 552.303 of the Texas Government Code says:
If a government body does not request an attorney general decision as provided by Section 552.301 and provide the requestor with the information required by Sections 552.301(d) and (e-1) the information requested in writing is presumed to be subject to required public disclosure and must be released unless there is a compelling reason to withhold the information.
The attorney general’s ruling in this situation should be based on the 25 reasons the city offered in its first letter.
Why on earth would the city manager be negotiating via email?
Once again the city wants to be above the law.
We deserve better