Recent Texas Attorney General Opinions of Interest to Cities

Note:  Included opinions are from April 11, 2015 through May 11, 2015.

Opinion No. KP-0020 (Open Meetings):  A court is unlikely to conclude as a matter of law that the Open Meetings Act (Act) prohibits a governmental body from holding meetings at a location that requires the presentation of photo identification for admittance. Whether a specific meeting location is accessible to the public for purposes of the Act, however, is a question of fact and is not a determination appropriate for the attorney general opinion process.

Opinion No. KP-0016 (Open Meetings):  A county has the authority to pay attorney’s fees for a member of a commissioners court who sought legal representation for a criminal investigation that did not result in any criminal charges filed, provided that the commissioners court determines, subject to judicial review, that the payment will serve a public interest and not merely the member’s private interest. A court would likely conclude that public policy precludes a member of a commissioners court under criminal investigation from voting on county payment of the member’s criminal defense fees or the fees of other members subject to the same investigation.

Opinion No. KP-0014 (Dual Office Holding):   A school board trustee whose powers have been suspended by the Texas Education Commissioner under Chapter 39 of the Education Code may run for and serve as a city council member for a city located within the school district’s boundaries.