Del Mar College regent Guy Watts violated the Texas Open Meetings Act by attempting to conduct college business through group emails, a letter to Watts signed by eight board members states.
Regents formally distanced themselves from Watts via the letter during Tuesday’s board meeting. Regents have approved four censures against him since March 2016, but this matter resulted in a different approach.
Prior censures were largely based upon Watts’ violation of his ethical duties under board policies and board bylaws, At-large regent and board chair Trey McCampbell said. Watts’ practice of emailing all board members at one time brings into question a potential violation of the Texas Open Meeting Act.
“The board chose a letter this time to clearly document our concern about a potential violation of the law,” McCampbell said.
Watts stepped out of Tuesday’s board meeting before the item was discussed publicly.
In the letter, Watts was also scolded by the board for engaging in a public discussion about a pending lawsuit against Del Mar and then attempting to provoke an online discussion it.
Last month, a jury found that Del Mar owes former professor Bruce Olson more than half a million dollars over a contract dispute.
The Caller-Times requested a copy of the letter, but it has not yet been provided. District 2 regent Susan Hutchinson read it aloud during the meeting.
“We, therefore, send this letter to you to formally confirm in writing that the board neither condones nor agrees with your email practices or your public unauthorized discussion about pending lawsuit against the college.”
“On behalf of the college, we direct you to stop sending emails to more than a quorum of the board of regents about college business. And we likewise request that you refrain from publicly discussing pending lawsuits involving the college without authorization by the board.”