Civil Complaint

Daugherty’s Civil Case to Continue

 Daugherty’s Civil Case to Continue

SOS Alliance also seeks a new special prosecutor and
judge to reinstate criminal complaint against Commissioner

by Ken Martin
© 2015 The Austin Bulldog
Posted Tuesday January 5, 2016 2:15pm

Gerald DaughertyThe Save Our Springs Alliance won a victory in the form of a December 10, 2015, ruling by District Judge Stephen Yelonosky that will allow a trial on the merits in the civil case against Travis County Precinct 3 Commissioner Gerald Daugherty.

If the case goes to trial the SOS Alliance will seek to persuade the court to order Commissioner Daugherty or Travis County, or both, to change policies enacted last spring regarding retention of and access to public records.

Bill BunchBill Bunch, executive director of the SOS Alliance, told The Austin Bulldog he will seek a finding by the court that violations of the Texas Public Information Act did, in fact, occur.

Bunch said such a finding would provide a basis for changing the policies to make sure that no violations like this occur again in the future.

In the beginning the lawsuit was about whether Daugherty had properly complied with the Act by providing all records requested by the SOS Alliance May 31, 2013. In Daugherty’s deposition and a court hearing held July 13, 2015, it was clear that he had not done so, but those records are no longer available. The larger issue for the SOS Alliance was whether it could find ammunition in those records for slowing or halting plans to build State Highway 45 Southwest over the sensitive Barton Springs portion of the Edwards Aquifer.

The case for getting more records is now moot, but Bunch wants to prevent the commissioner and Travis County from ever again failing to retain public records or allowing their destruction.

Bulldog’s Complaint Dismissed

Posted Friday, April 22, 2011 4:21pm
County Attorney’s Office ‘Cannot Determine’
City of Austin Committed Alleged Violations

Bulldog’s Complaint Was the First Presented
for Violation of Texas Pubic Information Act

by Ken Martin
© The Austin Bulldog 2011

The Travis County attorney’s office today issued a response to The Austin Bulldog’s complaint that alleged the City of Austin had violated the Texas Public Information Act by withholding public information.

The letter signed by James W. Collins, executive assistant Travis County attorney, states that the county attorney’s office “cannot determine that the violations alleged in your complaint were committed by the City of Austin.”

The letter states that this was a first complaint received by the Travis County Attorney’s office that was filed under Section 552.3215 of the Texas Public Information Act.

Attorney Bill Aleshire of Riggs Aleshire and Ray LP, who represented The Austin Bulldog in this matter, said, “This decision does not say the county attorney’s office exonerated the city, just that the county attorney’s office could not determine that the violations occurred as worded in the complaint.


Bulldog Files Civil Complaint Against City

Posted Wednesday March 23, 2011 4:54pm
The Austin Bulldog Files Civil Complaint
Against City of Austin and Council Members

Travis County Attorney David Escamilla
Has Legal Authority to Force Compliance

by Ken Martin
© The Austin Bulldog 2011

David EscamillaThe Austin Bulldog today filed a formal complaint with Travis County Attorney David Escamilla against the City of Austin and Austin City Council members pursuant to Section 552.3215 of the Texas Public Information Act (TPIA), Chapter 552 of the Government Code.

This complaint, which is civil in nature, not criminal, requests that Escamilla use his authority to determine if the City of Austin and its officials have violated the TPIA as alleged in the complaint.

If Escamilla finds that violations have occurred, the complaint asks that he seek a court order requiring the city, council members and staff to comply with the Act. He has the authority to bring a lawsuit in the name of the State of Texas for declaratory judgment and injunctive relief that is in addition to any other civil, administrative, or criminal action.

Escamilla declined to comment about the complaint.

Filing the complaint initiated a statutory process, detailed in Section 552.3215(g) of the TPIA, that by law requires Escamilla before the 31st day after the complaint is filed (in this case before April 23) to determine whether the violation alleged in the complaint was committed and whether an action will be brought against the governmental body, and to notify the complainant in writing of his determination.

Complaint separate from lawsuit

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