With all the interest in the subversion of laws governing transparency and open government, you would think all government officials would be a bit more careful, but You would be wrong.
From the “You just can’t make this up” department.
A recent review of the detailed agenda of the Commissioners’ Court, there was a request for approval for two Sheriff’s Office employees to attend training in the Texas Public Information Act:
Given the recent visibility related to transparency, probably a good thing. It could be a coincidence or it could be that the company offering the training seized upon an opportunity. The unbelievable irony of this request is that the Lt., a former records supervisor, used her personal e-mail address in correspondence setting up the training. The office of the County Judge usually does a better job of obscuring the public record. (Judge Video)
The county employs an attorney as “counsel to the court” and they run a few requests by him. The attorney general provides a toll free hotline for questions about public information. I was recently told requests for information had to be run by a private attorney who bills the county around a $250,000.00 a year for services of the firm. Causes one to wonder why taxpayers are sending two people to a day and a half training at a pretty high price. One is the records supervisor and the other is the training Sgt. I’m guessing if their supervisor is stupid enough to use a private e-mail account for public business, a day and a half class ain’t gonna cure the problem.
Consider further the Sheriff was recently raked over the proverbial coals for an overcharge complaint. (Previous Story) and currently has a complaint pending before the District Attorney for knowingly withholding public information (Previous Story) and the outlook does nothing to support optimism.