In the News

The FOI Foundation of Texas is making headlines. Check out our board members and executive director as they speak to media outlets across the state.

June 27, 2016
Board member Laura Prather testified before the Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice of the House Judiciary Committee about the need for a federal anti-SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation) law.

June 6, 2016
Executive Director Kelley Shannon told Watchdog.org that an overseas trade mission made by members of the San Antonio City Council may have skirted Texas’ open-meeting law.

June 1, 2016
Board member Joe Larsen criticized Houston’s mayor in the Houston Chronicle for using a private search firm to keep police chief candidates from public view.

May 4, 2016
Kelley Shannon, executive director of the FOIFT, spoke to the Houston Chronicle about the Texas Supreme Court’s ruling that allows businesses to withhold information from the public that could give their competitors an advantage.

April 25, 2016
Board member Jim Hemphill spoke to the Waco Tribune-Herald about McLennan County’s attorney wishing to limit access to information without compensation.

April 18, 2016
Board member Jim Hemphill spoke to The Eagle about a $1,000 open records charge in Bryan.

April 12, 2016
FOIFT Executive Director Kelley Shannon praised the attorney general’s decision to release documents regarding the Fort Worth school district and Chesapeake Energy over natural gas royalties.

April 11, 2016
Executive director Kelley Shannon spoke to the Austin American-Statesman about how Austin officials cannot shield their personal emails that they use for public business.

March 23, 2016
FOIFT attorneys Joe Larsen and Bill Aleshire spoke to Watchdog.org about the Texas Education Agency and attorney general blocking the website from obtaining an audio recording of a teleconference during which a school board member told the TEA commissioner to “burn in hell.”

March 6, 2016
Kelley Shannon, executive director of FOIFT, spoke to the El Paso Times about the city council’s discussion about limiting people convicted of felonies or misdemeanors from accessing open records.

March 4, 2016
FOIFT Executive Director Kelley Shannon and Austin attorney Bill Aleshire spoke to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram about Chesapeake Energy trying to keep their settlement with a Fort Worth school district a secret.

February 17, 2016
Houston attorney and FOIFT board member Joe Larsen spoke to The Dallas Morning News after the Texas attorney general’s office issued an opinion allowing Baylor University to keep investigations into recent sexual assaults secret.

February 7, 2016
FOIFT Executive Director Kelley Shannon spoke to the Houston Chronicle about the accessibility of police body camera footage.

January 19, 2016
Houston lawyer and FOIFT board member Joe Larsen spoke to the San Antonio Express-News about the Bexar County sheriff refusing to release an offense report regarding a sex assault case.

January 7, 2016
Austin attorney and FOIFT board member Jim Hemphill spoke to the Austin American-Statesman about a judge that told two newspapers to preserve emails in a capital murder case. Hemphill said judges have to hold a hearing before they’re allowed to ask journalists to preserve relevant evidence in a case.

December 15, 2015
FOIFT board members Joe Larsen and Chris Cobler responded to the Attorney General’s ruling that the press would not receive a copy of Victoria County District Attorney Stephen Tyler’s full contract with a consulting firm he hired to analyze a juvenile detention center.

December 14, 2015
Houston attorney and FOIFT board member Joe Larsen told the Houston Chronicle that the Houston Community College board likely violated the state’s Open Meetings Act when they hired a lawyer without a vote.

December 5, 2015
FOIFT board member Joe Larsen told the Texas Tribune the Lower Colorado River Authority appeared to be circumventing the public information act by fighting the release of data on a new reservoir.

November 16, 2015
Board member Joe Larsen argued to the Texas Tribune that jail booking records are not part of the court system in response to the Attorney General’s decision to allow Dallas County to keep booking records secret.

September 25, 2015
Open government attorney and board member Joe Larsen told the Texas Tribune that the Texas Supreme Court’s ruling that shields contract details is “one of the worst” to ever come out of the court.

September 3, 2015
FOIFT Executive Director Kelley Shannon told The Texas Observer that the Keller ISD Board may have violated the Open Meetings Act by meeting privately ahead of LGBT protections vote.

August 31, 2015
Houston attorney and FOIFT board member Joseph Larsen penned a letter to the Denton City Council decrying a 10 year old ordinance that imperils council members’ free-speech rights.

August 26, 2015
FOIFT board members Jim Hemphill, Joe Larsen and Joel White spoke to the Texas Tribune about Gov. Greg Abbott withholding records with AG Ken Paxton’s blessing.

August 10, 2015
FOIFT board member Joe Larsen, a Houston-based attorney, told The Monitor that the attorney general’s office took an “unusually long time” to respond to a request for clarification regarding a district attorney emails.

June 22, 2015
In the Waco Tribune-Herald, FOIFT Executive Director Kelley Shannon called for video of the Twin Peaks shootout to be released because it “helps the public understand what happened.”

May 21, 2015
Kelley Shannon told The Dallas Morning News that open government advocates were making “good progress” during the 2015 legislative session.

April 16, 2015
Kelley Shannon in a report by the Associated Press: Citizens “really need” information on suppliers of execution drugs.

April 14, 2015
Executive Director Kelley Shannon told The Dallas Morning News that police dashboard and body camera video were useful tools to hold the government accountable.

March 17, 2015
Executive Director Kelley Shannon on the resolution of a case regarding a violation of the state’s Open Meetings Act in the Rio Grande Valley.

February 24, 2015
Laura Prather, a First Amendment attorney and legislative committee co-chair of FOIFT, on legislation by Rep. Todd Hunter that would strengthen the Texas Public Information Act.

February 19, 2015
Joe Larsen, a Houston attorney and member of the FOIFT board of directors, speaks to the Victoria Advocate about the Victoria County sheriff declining to release ex-deputy’s records in excessive force investigation.

February 16, 2015
Executive Director Kelley Shannon on a bill targeting out-of-state public information requests.

February 6, 2015
Executive Director Kelley Shannon speaks to the Houston Chronicle about a bill that would limit Public Information Act use to Texans.

January 29, 2015
Joe Larsen, a member of the FOIFT board of directors, speaks to the San Antonio Express-News about Gov. Greg Abbott tweaking the governor’s controversial email destruction policy.

January 28, 2015
Bill Aleshire, an attorney who volunteers with the Freedom of Information Foundation, speaks to the Houston Chronicle about Fort Bend County withholding details of paramedic raises until after vote.

December 22, 2014
Executive Director Kelley Shannon speaks to the Dallas Morning News on open records request non-compliance by a charter school.

December 12, 2014
Attorney Joe Larsen on the University of Texas’ request to keep the purchase price of author Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s archives secret.

December 5, 2014
FOIFT Board Member Paul Watler on the Greater Houston Partnership terminating its contracts with Houston, Harris County and surrounding governments, to avoid public information requests.

You can find more 2014 archived articles featuring FOIFT here. Click here for 2013 archives.