Fort Bend County can’t, won’t practice what they preach when it comes to open records request

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Fort Bend County can’t, won’t practice what they preach when it comes to open records request

In the wake of mounting news accounts focused on the failure of a public employee in Houston Mayor Turners’ office to turn over documents required to be released under state law comes news that one or more Fort Bend County, TX employees appear to be doing the same.

On October 6th, 2017 an open records request was sent to the Fort Bend County county attorneys’ office seeking public information contained in the Outlook calendars of five Fort Bend County employees.

After providing a partial response to the request and despite written assurance the remaining documents would be provided no later than October 27th, Fort Bend County failed to turn over the remaining material.

But that’s not the only request the county is stonewalling production of.

On October 23rd, 2017 a second public information request was sent to the Fort Bend County county attorneys’ office seeking certain public information pertaining to 2017 road bond meetings within the emails, text messages of six county employees, including one in a lobbying role.

Despite their receipt of a complaint letter from the Civil Enforcement Division of the Open Records Division of the Texas Attorney Generals’ Office, Fort Bend County has demonstrated a potentially habitual pattern & practice of failing to follow the statutorily mandated deadline that they preach on their taxpayer-funded website must be adhered to:

Those words circled in red read: “Public information requests and complaints must be responded to within a statutorily mandated deadline.

In Fort Bend County, TX abiding by statutes only applies to the taxpayer, right?

Exit question: do taxpayers have a right to know which engineering firms met with county employees as a part of the process to place a November 2017 road bond initiative on the ballot?

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