As if the stench of corruption were not so overpowering in El Paso, the city government has decided that the rulings of the Texas Attorney General’s office are to be ignored.
The city, as in Joyce Wilson, John Cook, Ann Morgan Lilly, Susie Byrd, Emma Acosta, Michiel Noe, Steve Ortega and Courtney Niland have decided to sue the Texas Attorney General because they disagree with his recent ruling that the city should release public records, your records, to the citizens of El Paso.
Most amazing to me is that in this time of overwhelming public corruption one would think that the city government would do everything in its power to let the citizens look at the records to see that no corruption exists. Instead, the city has decided that the Texas Attorney General’s ruling, that they release public records as required by the law, is wrong and have chosen to sue to get him to back down from forcing them to show you the records.
As expected, the city leaders will wrap themselves around the notion that the request is overly broad and the public has no right to see their private musings. If the local media decides to cover this, this will be the city’s position, wrapped in legal mambo-jumbo. What they hope, is that in all of the rhetoric the fact wil be lost that the Texas Attorney General’s ruling specifically lists some records that need to be released and that records that pertain to city business belong in the public arena. There is no ambiguity, just government officials trying to keep records secret.
Instead of embracing transparency the city wants to keep everything in the dark. Like cockroaches, they thrive in the darkness and scatter in the light. I wonder why?
Most egregious of all is that the city is using your money, your hard earned taxpayer money, to sue to keep the records secret.
These are the facts:
One, the city is ripe with public corruption scandals involving all of the major public institutions of the city;
Two, some in the community are alleging that corrupt deals were made to get the public to pay for a stadium;
Three, the public has lost trust in its public officials;
Four, the city has an obligation, under the Open Records law, to provide all of the relevant records to the citizens of the community;
Five, if the city feels that some records are beyond the scope of the Open Records law (it is important to note the term, “beyond” which does not mean that some records are to be kept secret because it might uncover corruption) then it has a right to ask a higher authority for its ruling on the matter, in this case the Texas Attorney General;
Six, The Texas Attorney General rules that the city must release the records that belong to the citizens of the city;
Seven, the city decides that it doesn’t like the ruling so it hires the law firm, Denton, Navarro, Rocha & Bernal, by the way a law firm not based in El Paso, to sue the Texas Attorney General with your money;
Eight, It doesn’t matter what the court ruling will eventually be because by the time the city has exhausted all of its legal avenues in legal shenanigans it will be too late to hold anyone accountable. There is a two-year statute of limitations to violations of the Texas Open Meetings law;
Nine, the citizens of El Paso have only one recourse, at this point, to force the city to show the records that may show violations of the Texas Opens Meeting laws but that relies on the good will of the District Attorney, Jaime Esparza who coincidently needs that same group of people, the individuals he would be investigating to vote to keep funding a significant portion of his controversial DIMS program. Hmmm, I wonder if he even gave it a passing thought before he broke out laughing on the way to cash the next check;
Ten, the stadium is a done deal and will be built regardless of whether laws were broken or not.
Those are the sad facts about the stadium, typical El Paso malfeasance.
Worst of all, you the taxpayers are paying for the malfeasance not only in the added taxes you will be paying for to build and maintain the stadium, a playground for the elite of the city, but also paying for in the lawyers to keep you in the dark.
There is a reason why cockroaches thrive in the darkness and run in the light; it is because in the darkness no one can see how grotesque the malfeasance is.
Letter from attorney regarding city suing TX ATTY GEN
City Sues Texas Attorney General 2012; the lawsuit documents.