AG rules in favor of Victoria Advocate records request

The Texas Attorney General’s Office has ruled Calhoun County must release the records of a federal employment lawsuit settlement that were requested by the Victoria Advocate.

The newspaper asked for the records of a June settlement in a case brought by a former county employee. The county maintained the settlement agreement was not a public document and that the record was not in its possession, but the Attorney General’s Office disagreed with that argument in a Nov. 8 ruling.

The Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas submitted comments in support of the Advocate. FOIFT board member Joe Larsen, an attorney who chairs the organization’s opinions committee, wrote that Calhoun County’s arguments against public release of the settlement “appear to consist largely of a game of hide the ball.”

The AG’s ruling stated the records are public under the Texas Public Information Act and that, furthermore, the county did not submit its request to withhold the records in the time period required by law. Read the Victoria Advocate story on the ruling here.