Articles Posted in Open Records

collin+county+ag The Collin County District Attorney is proud of their forced blood draw DWI program. They bragged about it to the media, and on the TDCAA message board.

However, they were less enthusiastic when it came to my open records request. As I expected the Collin County DA fired off a letter to the Attorney General asking to keep details of this program secret.

The AG request (right) is notable only for it’s pathetic brevity. AG requests usually carry histrionics about officer safety. Collin County merely lists statute numbers and asks for relief.

WikiFOIA is running an open records expiriment. Bloggers are filing open records requests asking their Governor for email. I am proud to be part of this project and will send a request to Rick Perry today via email (my preferred method).

This project is in response to a series of incident of email destruction among executives in Government. For the history click here.

If you want to join this Sunshine Bloggers Project feel free. Here are the instructions.

Ken Sparks, from the Colorado County DA’s office was kind enough to quickly respond to my open records request (Thanks, Ken!). Although I may disagree with my prosecutor colleagues on the issues, it is more often than not that we can work together. If only City Attorneys were as cooperative on open records requests.

To recap- I have been following a TDCAA message board discussion on forced DWI blood draws. Mr. Sparks posted about his counties program and fill in the blank warrant. I filed an open records request asking for this warrant, inter alia.

For your viewing pleasure here is a “fill in the blank” search warrant for your blood.

Many of you want to know more about Texas Open Records. My open records 101 details the process I use to get open records. In an effort to further educate the public, and train more citizens to pursue open records, I have cut and pasted this FAQ from the Texas Attorney General.

What is the Public Information Act?

The Public Information Act, formerly known as the Open Records Act, is located at chapter 552 of the Government Code. The Act provides a mechanism for citizens to inspect or copy government records. It also provides for instances in which governmental bodies wish to, or are required by law to, withhold government records from the public.

To recap- I filed an open records request for any local DWI enforcement materials developed or used by Wylie PD. At trial two officers testified these materials did not exist. Through an open records request I learned that not only do such materials exists, but the City tried to withold them claming

Release of theInformation requested would give people insight into our

procedures, which wouldput officers at a disadvantage in a situation regarding:

austin+pdThe City of Austin finally turned over their records on the Austin PD/Austin Energy Warrantless surveillance program. To recap, Austin PD has a deal with Austin that gives Austin PD access to customer electricity usage information. I filed an open records request for information on the program. Austin PD fought the request by asking for an AG opinion. The AG ruled for disclosure. Today I received the materials from the City of Austin Law Department.

What I Received

I received a list of email addresses for city employees (I’m not really sure why), the Austin Police’s customer service agreement with Austin Energy (to provide electricity, not customer info), and a copy of the Austin PD Organized Crime Division Operation Procedure Manual.

dallas+da+open+recordsThe Harris County DA is in turmoil for a number of recent events. One being an email that mentioned problematic “Canadian” jurors. This email was sent between Prosecutors. “Canadians” being a code work for African Americans.

I filed an open records request to the Dallas District Attorney’s office to see if there had been any mentions of “Canadians” in their email. Specifically, I asked for any emails sent by any attorney that had the word “Canadians” in it.

The response from the Dallas office- We can’t search our own email.

Austin Energy Warrantless Surveillance

To recap- Austin Police and Austin Energy have an agreement that allows for warrantless surveillance of consumer electricity bills. Austin PD uses this information to search for marijuana growing operations sans warrant.


First, a recap-

I had a DWI trial in Collin County. The arrest was made by the Wylie PD. I subpoenaed the arresting officers to bring any information on local DWI procedures to trial

NHTSA has developed the standard DWI testing and arrest procedures. I was looking for any additional training or procedures used or developed by the Wylie PD. I filed an open records request before trial asking for the same information. By the day of trial I had not received a response to my open records request.

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