The Public Information Act provides that government agencies including state universities have to open their records for inspection. See the Texas Attorney General’s website for FAQ’s on how to file a public information request. Atty general FAQs
Students Against Sweatshops often files these requests to help gather information for our sweat free campus campaign. Long time readers of this blog won’t be surprised to know that our administration officials often don’t tell the truth, therefore we must inspect documents to find out what is really happening with our issue.
Last spring we filed a request about the non-democratic apparel committee president Renu Khator set up. As usual the UH attorney in this case Valerie Coleman-Ferguson ran to the attorney general and asked to with hold various documents. There are many exceptions to the Public Information Act however because Coleman Ferguson has a very distant relationship with ethics, she abuses the system by asking the attorney general to with hold documents she knows she must release. Then the attorney general issued an opinion letter ordering her to release the documents. Even though the law says she can’t argue with the attorney general, she did in this case. Coleman Ferguson missed a deadline to ask to with hold something and then the attorney general sent her a letter with a copy to us since we were the requester. The attorney general said Coleman Ferguson violated the law and must turn over the documents.
However when we brought the letter from the attorney general to the UH attorney’s office, they still would not turn over the documents. Watch the video and see what Jose Rangel, another UH lawyer did when we asked for our documents: (please note that Texas is a one party consent state for video / audio taping so when Mr. Rude Lawyer tries to make us stop videotaping he is not aware that we know the law and trying to make sure there is no record of his law breaking). This video makes it clear that the UH legal department is nothing but a cesspool of corruption and unprofessional attorneys who instead of serving the public as State of Texas employees, spent their time harassing honest and hard working students dedicated to bettering the lives of their fellow human beings.