Texas

Texas judge to decide about deleted e-mail messages

Alanna Malone | Freedom of Information | Quicklink | March 11, 2008
Quicklink
March 11, 2008

The Harris County Sheriff’s Office is claiming exemption from the Texas Public Information Act after deleting hundreds of thousands of e-mail messages from employees’ computers. 

The mass deletion began two days after KTRK (Channel 13) aired an interview regarding Sheriff Tommy Thomas’s payment to a contractor for redesigning of the sheriff’s weekend home.

Court rules state employee birth dates are public

Freedom of Information | Feature | January 18, 2008
Feature
January 18, 2008

Jan. 18, 2008  ·   Birth dates of state employees are public records and not exempt from disclosure under the Texas Public Information Act, the 3rd District Court of Appeals in Austin ruled on Thursday.

The state comptroller's office tried to withhold the records, arguing that releasing such information would intrude upon the employees' private affairs and could leave them open to identity theft.

Cornyn announces open government proposal

Jennifer Koons | Freedom of Information | Quicklink | January 16, 2008
Quicklink
January 16, 2008

Texas Sen. John Cornyn (R) said Tuesday that he intends to sponsor legislation to make government spending information more accessible to the public.

Cornyn's proposal calls for expanding the federal government's spending Web site, which allows visitors to search federal contracts and grants. According to the Associated Press, a pilot program would give Americans the option of searching for such expenditures as government staff salaries and travel costs.

Texas court dismisses libel suit

Matthew Pollack | Libel | Quicklink | December 6, 2007
Quicklink
December 6, 2007

The Associated Press reports that a Texas judge dismissed a libel suit against the San Antonio Express-News stemming from several stories and an editorial alleging misconduct on behalf of a Louisiana company that previously ran Bexar County’s jail commissaries. As part of an agreement with Premier Management Enterprises, the paper acknowledged there were three minor factual errors in the stories that ran in December 2005.

E-mail retention practices roil Missouri, Texas governors

Jennifer Koons | Freedom of Information | Feature | November 19, 2007
Feature
November 19, 2007

Less than two weeks after a federal judge ordered the White House to save copies of e-mail messages, the issue has sparked controversy between open government advocates and the governors of two states.

In Missouri, Gov. Matt Blunt questioned the legal authority of his attorney general, Jay Nixon, to look into his administration's e-mail practices.

TV station asks reporter to reveal confidential sources

Gregg Leslie | Reporter's Privilege | Reaction | November 5, 2007
Reaction
November 5, 2007

One of those things we hate to see: a TV station that apparently doesn't "get it" when it comes to how the news media works. The Associated Press reports that:

A South Texas public television station has refused to turn over financial documents to the Valley Morning Star unless a reporter reveals confidential sources, the newspaper reported Saturday.

Texas appeals court rejects gag order on BP jury

Jennifer Koons | Secret Courts | Quicklink | November 2, 2007
Quicklink
November 2, 2007

From the Houston Chronicle:

A Texas appeals court has overturned a Galveston judge's order preventing jurors who served on the only civil trial to emerge from the March 2005 explosion at BP's Texas City refinery from discussing the case publicly until all the litigation is resolved.

Texas judge orders city to release e-mail records to newspaper

Freedom of Information | Quicklink | October 30, 2007
Quicklink
October 30, 2007

Former Reporters Committee fellow Jennifer LaFleur writes in today's Dallas Morning News:

Texas District Judge Gena Slaughter has ruled that the city of Dallas must release e-mails requested more than 22 months ago by the Morning News, including messages from city officials' personal accounts or hand-held devices used to conduct city business.

Reporter's shield bill dies in House

Reporter's Privilege | Feature | May 30, 2007
Feature
May 30, 2007

NEWS MEDIA UPDATE   ·   TEXAS   ·   Confidentiality/Privilege   ·   May 30, 2007

Shield bill survives Senate vote, moves to House

Reporter's Privilege | Feature | May 10, 2007
Feature
May 10, 2007

NEWS MEDIA UPDATE   ·   TEXAS   ·   Confidentiality/Privilege   ·   May 10, 2007