Court Date Set In Texas Tech Secrecy Case
Amarillo State District Judge John B. Board has set a date of June 7th for legal arguments in the long-running Texas Tech secrecy case.
But that is not the only news.
Wednesday, the Harris County District Attorney’s Office asked a judge to appoint an outside prosecutor to investigate possible criminal withholding of public records by two Texas Tech regents. John Walker and Ronnie Hammonds are Tech regents who live in Houston.
Dolcefino Consulting had filed criminal complaints with prosecutors all across Texas against individual members of the Board of Regents for hiding phone records detailing university business. The Harris County District Attorney recused herself, but today her office formally notified a judge to move the case forward with an outside lawyer. This is the first county that has agreed to accept the investigation of this regency secret.
Texas law calls on district attorneys to prosecute Texas Public Information Act criminal allegations, but many claim they don’t even know how to.
You know who most counties sent us to complain to instead? The Texas Attorney General’s Office. They are representing Texas Tech in our fight over records and, despite the obvious conflict of interest, Attorney General Paxton has refused to recuse his office voluntarily. Dolcefino Consulting President Wayne Dolcefino says he is reviewing a possible federal lawsuit to force the attorney general to stop violating his civil rights in this public records fight.
What started as a simple request to see Texas Tech records detailing the investigation that led to the firing of the school’s winningest coach, Mike Leach, ten years ago has evolved into a major fight over the public right to know about the business of a state university.
We already know Tech has destroyed some of the records and has fought investigations into sex assaults on campus, allegations of grant misuse at Texas Tech Health Science Center, even how much the University System lost in the Bernie Madoff scandal.
Board will hold the hearing in Lubbock. The judge was appointed after the original Lubbock judge, Bill Sowder, suddenly recused himself a year into the case without explaining why. Sowder has been critical of Tech’s handling of the request, but some of his rulings were overturned by the same appeals court that threw out the coach’s lawsuit on a technicality years ago.
“All we ask Judge Board to do is let us put some Tech officials under oath so we can get this case to a jury,” says Wayne Dolcefino, President of Dolcefino Consulting. “We trust the citizens of Lubbock are like all taxpayers. They want sunshine, not secrecy. It is clear Texas Tech has something to hide or they wouldn’t have wasted all this money fighting the public right to know.”
Texas Tech fired Mike Leach and there’s plenty of evidence they did it to try and cheat him out of 2.5 million dollars. We already knew Tech lied to donors and football fans when they claimed they would do a complete investigation. After months of fighting, we found a simple email and other docs suggesting sworn affidavits may have been coached.
“If Texas Tech had nothing to hide from the start, folks in Lubbock should ask themselves a simple question,” says Dolcefino. “Why would they spend all this time fighting to keep Red Raiders from simply knowing the truth? What an insult to their own fans. Maybe that’s why the school is haunted by the Curse of the Pirate.”