in Houston, Texas
Lawsuit: Eanes ISD withholding public information, using AG appeals process as delay tactic
Friday, Apr 29, 2011, 11:43AM CST
By Steve Miller
ramp

The Eanes Independent School District will have to defend itself – with taxpayer dollars - for failing to provide a copy of the district’s Americans with Disabilities Act self-evaluation to a local resident who requested it.

A lawsuit filed by Round Rock attorney Martin Cirkiel claims that he filed an April 1 public information request for the evaluation, which the district is required to complete. The district appealed the request to the state Attorney General’s office on April 15 under the litigation exception in state law. Cirkiel claims this was a violation of the law, which requires a public entity to “promptly” release public information. He contends that the evaluation is clearly public.

 

“The [district] knows the information cannot be withheld and only sought a ruling for the purpose of delay,” Cirkiel states in his petition.

 

Cirkiel also alleges that the district’s law firm, Walsh Anderson Brown Gallegos & Green, has displayed a pattern of appealing obviously public requests, sending up 15 such requests under the litigation exception since 2001. In each case, the petition states, the AG has ruled the information public.

 

Cirkeil asks for court costs and release of the information.

 

For more reading, see the eanesdistrict.com site, which directs viewers to two news reports concerning the district's compliance with ADA requirements, including this piece in May 2009. Another Eanes watchdog site, Keep Eanes Informed, covers the district with a quest for transparency. The district has most recently come under fire for what it pays Superintendent Nola Wellman.

 

***

Contact Steve Miller at 832-303-9420 or stevemiller@texaswatchdog.org.


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Photo of ramp sign by flickr user Auntie P, used via a Creative Commons license.

Comments
Dianna Pharr
Saturday, 04/30/2011 - 08:02PM

More on Walsh Anderson here:

http://www.keepeanesinformed.com/legal_expenditures.htm

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