Unprecedented Legal Action in Texas Tech Secrecy Case
A District Court judge has been asked to disqualify the Texas Attorney General from representing Texas Tech University in the widening battle over secret records involving the firing of former head football Coach Mike Leach.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has ignored repeated requests by the Houston based investigative media firm Dolcefino Consulting to voluntarily recuse his office from the lawsuit filed under the Texas Public Information Act. Now, lawyers for Dolcefino Consulting have filed unprecedented legal action to force Paxton out.
“Here, the Attorney General’s role as Defendant’s advocate in defending against Plaintiff’s allegations that Defendant has violated the TPIA is in irreconcilable conflict with the Attorney General’s ‘unique role’ in enforcing that statute,” argues Dallas lawyers Julie Pettit and Michael Hurst.
The motion to disqualify the Attorney General, filed in the 99th District Court also maintains the Texas Attorney General has no authority in the Texas Constitution to represent a governmental entity in District Court without legislative approval.
“There is no provision of the TPIA that allows the Attorney General to represent a governmental body in a district court,” says attorneys Pettit and Hurst.
No date has been set for Judge John Board of Amarillo to rule on the motion. Judge Board has noted problems with the Texas Attorney General’s role in the TPIA in previous hearings.
“The Texas Attorney General is currently the counsel for the folks trying to hide the truth about why they fired Mike Leach,” says Wayne Dolcefino, President of Dolcefino Consulting. “Attorney General Paxton knows Texas Tech has improperly overcharged us for public records and that the university has illegally withheld records. The Attorney General’s Office is now complicit in an illegal act. We will fight to get them under oath to prove this public records charade is a conspiracy.”
The Lubbock District Attorney has now asked that a special prosecutor be appointed to investigate allegations of illegal withholding of public records by current and former members of the Texas Tech University Board of Regents. Records mistakenly released by the opposing party in the TTU lawsuit has helped establish that Coach Leach was cheated and how Texas Tech did it.
“In two years, we have obtained a mountain of evidence that Tech lied about Mike Leach, conspired to cheat him, and violated his constitutional rights,” says Dolcefino. “Texas Tech has allowed Senior Associate General Counsel Ronny Wall to wage a campaign of secrecy that is shameful and makes him a serial violator of the public right to know.”Dolcefino-v.-TTU_Pls-Motion-to-DQ-AG_Final_W_EX