Judge’s ruling keeps Texas open meetings lawsuit alive

Judge Bobby Bell denied on Wednesday the Calhoun Port Authority’s latest motion to dismiss a Texas Open Meetings Act case filed by the Victoria Advocate.

The newspaper claims the port should have written on the agenda for its May 9 meeting that it was going into closed session to discuss hiring former U.S. Congressman Blake Farenthold as a lobbyist for a $160,000 annual salary.

The port instead wrote it was going into closed session to deliberate “the appointment, employment, compensation, evaluation, reassignment, duties, discipline or dismissal of a public officer or employee.”

Friday, the port’s attorney, Bill Cobb, argued the motion to dismiss. One of Cobb’s arguments was that Bell couldn’t nullify Farenthold’s hiring because port director, Charles Hausmann, hired Farenthold, not the board.

Bell disagreed after reading the minutes from the May 9 meeting, which state that after adjourning the closed session, “Board Chair Randy L. Boyd directed the port director to proceed with hiring the person discussed.” (Read more…)