Recent Texas Attorney General Opinions of Interest to Cities

Note:  Included opinions are from January 12, 2013 through June 11, 2013.

Opinion No. GA-1008 (Concealed Handguns):  Texas Law does not prohibit the Texas Medical Board from allowing its investigators who are not commissioned as peace officers to carry a concealed handgun pursuant to the concealed handgun law while the investigators are on duty.  Adopting a concealed handgun policy that is consistent with state law would not waive the Texas Medical Board’s immunity for its own actions of a legislative character. However, we cannot predict whether a court would construe Section 411.208 of the Government Code as granting a state employer immunity for the negligent use of a handgun by an employee who holds a concealed handgun license.

Opinion No. GA-1003 (Employee Benefits): Article I, section 32 of the Texas Constitution prohibits political subdivisions from creating a legal status of domestic partnership and recognizing that status by offering public benefits based upon it.

Opinion No. GA-0993 (Admonishment):  The duty of a magistrate to admonish an arrested person as required by article 15.17 of the Code of Criminal Procedure is a mandatory duty. An arrestee may waive his right to have a magistrate orally recite the admonishments of article 15.17 of the Code of Criminal Procedure only if the waiver is made plainly, freely, and intelligently.

Opinion No. GA-0992 (Intoxication-Related Offenses):   A district or inferior court likely does not have authority to order the destruction of blood collected during the investigation of an intoxication-related misdemeanor offense after the underlying case has been finally resolved.

Opinion No. GA-0990 (Economic Development Corporation):  To the extent permitted by Section 501.067 of the Local Government Code, an economic development corporation may obtain health benefits for its employees through a risk pool.

Opinion No. GA-0989 (Open Meetings):  A private consultation between a member of a governmental body and an employee of that governmental body that does not take place within the hearing of a quorum of the other members of the governmental body does not, under the facts presented, constitute a “meeting” within the terms of chapter 551 of the Government Code.