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Monday, September 20, 2010

Cameron County (Tx.) District Attorney’s Office declines to pursue San Benito FOI issue

from The Brownsville Herald:
The Cameron County District Attorney’s Office has refused to prosecute a case filed by the Valley Morning Star accusing San Benito officials of violating the Texas Open Meetings Act, officials said last week.

The Star filed the complaint in April accusing city commissioners of failing to disclose the nature of a discussion they held in a closed meeting on April 12.

The newspaper also accused the city of illegally posting the meeting’s agenda, which failed to state the nature of the discussion commissioners planned to hold in executive session.

“The District Attorney’s Office received this case and reviewed it,” Assistant District Attorney Charles Mattingly said in an e-mail. “After evaluation, it was determined that the case was without merit. Therefore, the DA’s Office declined to prosecute.”


The decision riled Joel White, an Austin attorney with the Texas Freedom of Information Foundation.

“I saw it as a blatant violation of the Open Meetings Act,” White said in an interview. “I’m not surprised that the DA chose not to prosecute. DAs like to work on violent crimes and they don’t like to prosecute elected officials.”
Read more here.

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