Brockhouse Gives City Until Monday to Fully Respond to Public Information Request; Will Sue City Wit
Public Information Requests Ignored Since Feb. 22, 2021 & July 2020
SAN ANTONIO, TX — Today San Antonio mayoral candidate Greg Brockhouse issued a public demand to the City of San Antonio over their illegal withholding of public information for one set of public information requests dating back to July 2020 and another dating back more than two months: Fully release the information by 5pm Monday, April 5th, or Brockhouse will sue the city.
"Refusing to honor requests -- even for information the law clearly requires be released -- is illegal,” said Brockhouse. “It isn't just our campaign. Nearly every journalist in town has stories of requests being ignored for months at a time or needlessly appealed to stall for time. Newly promoted Assistant City Manager Jeff Coyle will post on Twitter, imply journalists are lying, and claim the city is following the law, despite incontrovertible evidence to the contrary. No private citizen should ever have to sue the city for types of records that have already been ruled on. Ron Nirenberg is conspiring with city staff to hide basic information like his office budget, travel, schedule, and texts. They are trying to run out the clock and I'm not going to stand for it. We have already appealed to the AG's office and are prepared to file suit, if necessary. If the City Attorney is sanctioning this illegal activity, he should be fired immediately. If he isn't, then he should come before City Council and explain how he is seemingly unaware that city staff are either sitting on requests and denying legitimate requests as a common practice."
These illegal transparency actions taken by the city are far broader than simply related to a competitor for Mayor.
“Just in the past two weeks it was uncovered that The San Antonio Express-News had a request illegally delayed, appearing to protect politically-connected subjects in senior city employment positions,” said Brockhouse.
Brockhouse’s campaign representatives filed a series of public information requests in 2019 that still have not been released. They also filed ten specific public information requests on February 22, mostly related to office expenses, communications between the Mayor and senior staff, his calendar and other items.
On the more recent request, after more than six weeks with no substantive response, the city promised a status report on every single outstanding request by close of business March 26. The only response from the city came from a request made in 2019 related to office expenses for the Mayor. In this one response, most of the office expenses do not show who was paid. On March 31, 2021, the city finally said they would try to respond to the July 2019 requests after more than 18 months of waiting.
This week the Brockhouse campaign filed ten separate appeals to the Office of the Texas Attorney General, where it expects to receive a favorable ruling ordering the information be released.
According to state law: Any person, not just citizens of Texas, can request public information. A statement of purpose is not required nor is there a law on how the records can be used. The Texas Public Information Act allows 10 business days for a response to public record requests.
•May 14, 2019 – Request #1 sent to City of San Antonio (COSA)
•July 31, 2020 – Brockhouse personal request sent to COSA
•Nov. 11, 2020 – Request #2 sent to COSA
•Nov. 18, 2020 – Request #3 sent to COSA
•Dec. 4, 2020 – Brockhouse follow up request for delivery timeline (after no response)
•Dec. 17, 2020 – OAG correspondence sent from Brockhouse to COSA
•Jan. 17, 2021 – Request #4 sent to COSA
•Feb. 22, 2021 – Requests #5-9 sent to COSA
•Feb. 23, 2021 – Request #10 sent to COSA
•Mar. 22, 2021 – COSA public information officer says it will provide status and ETA of all requests by Mar. 26, 2021
•Mar. 25, 2021 – COSA provides partial response to Request #1
•Mar. 26, 2021 – COSA fails to provide status and ETA of Requests #2-10
•Mar. 29, 2021 – Complaints filed with Texas Attorney General's office regarding COSA's handling of Requests #1-10
•Mar. 31, 2021 – COSA emails that they will begin responding to the •July 31, 2020 request and begin releasing batches 4/1/21
Greg Brockhouse was elected to the City Council in 2017 and previously served the city in several senior roles for other members of the City Council. He served in the U.S. Air Force for nine years. He is a graduate of Texas State University.
Learn more about Greg Brockhouse and his campaign by visiting http://www.GregBrockhouse.com.