Cities and their photo enforcement contractors are often reluctant to respond to freedom of information act requests. Odessa, Texas did its best to suppress a request for emails between city employees and American Traffic Solutions (ATS) by allowing the vendor to argue it was exempt from handing over the documents.
"Information is excepted from the requirements of [the public disclosure law] if it is information that, if released, would give advantage to a competitor or bidder," states Section 552.104 of the Texas Government Code, which ATS cited.
Under Texas law, the attorney general decides whether an exemption applies or not. Attorney General Greg Abbott also happens to be the Republican nominee for governor against Democrat Wendy Davis in a campaign that already saw red light cameras become an issue in the primary campaign. Abbott is in favor of allowing the public to vote on whether cameras should be used or not, while Davis is an enthusiastic backer of automated tickets. An Abbott deputy ruled against granting the exception for ATS. Continue>>>