Attorney General lawyer expects update soon on Victoria public information complaint

Melissa Crowe By Melissa Crowe

Aug. 27, 2013 at 3:27 a.m.
Updated Aug. 28, 2013 at 3:28 a.m.

Three Victoria elected officials have yet to cooperate with a public information request the Advocate filed in May pertaining to the spring election.

Council members David Hagan and Josephine Soliz have refused to release records on their own. Some emails have been made available through the city's IT department.

Although the city has responded to the Attorney General's office about the request and subsequent complaint against the council, phone records, email records and text messages - all considered public information when pertaining to public business - have not been fully released.

Councilman Emett Alvarez has not released text message or phone records dating back to the May request.

Neil Falgoust, a lawyer with the attorney general's office, said he expects to sort through the city's response by the end of the week.

An attorney general letter dated July 26 to City Attorney Thomas Gwosdz, said, "The easiest way to resolve this open records complaint is to release the information that was requested."

A new Texas law specifically states that emails sent by a public official relating to public business, whether on a private or public device, will be accessible to the public.

Although that information has already been ruled as public, the law is now explicit.



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