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Archive for May 13th, 2014

The House Select Committee on Transparency in State Agency Operations met yesterday and voted out a motion for “grounds for impeachment” on UT Regent Wallace Hall. The vote was 7-1 so you can’t call this partisan. Yesterday was historic for sure. It was the first time a Texas State House Committee had ever voted out grounds for impeachment on a gubernatorial appointment.

Regent Hall responded to the vote with a big f___ you! Here:

“If the Transparency Committee desires transparency, it should not seek ways to interfere with investigations that would expose improper conduct at the University of Texas.”

And:

“My efforts as a regent are to serve the interests of our great educational institutions, the students, faculty, and staff who make them great, and the taxpayers who fund them, not to appease a privileged class who abuse them.”

I am thinking Guv Dude just might want to ask his appointee Hall to call it a day and resign.

State Rep. Carol Alvarado serves as Co-Chair of the committee. Here is the statement she issued prior to the vote:

Much attention has been given to the historic nature of today’s vote. This is the first time in Texas history that a legislative committee will be voting on whether grounds for impeachment exist for a gubernatorial appointee. The outcome of today’s vote will be setting a standard on appointee conduct for years to come.

I understand the fear that a vote in the affirmative could chill current and future appointees from fulfilling their duties. However, I am at least equally afraid of the chilling effect Regent Hall’s conduct will have on university presidents and administrations, both in and outside of the UT System, if his behavior remains unchecked. Regent Hall’s actions have intensified since our proceedings began, and may only grow worse if this Committee concludes its proceedings without taking effective action. I do not fault Regent Hall for having an agenda. I fault him for the inappropriate means by which he continues to try to accomplish it.

Some may point to inefficiencies that enabled Regent Hall’s behavior, but I believe Regent Hall stands alone in his possible violations of the Texas Education Code, the Penal Code and the Texas Public Information Act. After 11 long months of hearing the facts, this Committee should take action. Any delay in action will only delay a needed solution.

Impeachment is an extraordinary tool to be used in extraordinary circumstances. I view Regent Hall’s conduct as extraordinary for an appointee. Regent Hall has a sworn duty to do what is in the best interests of the University of Texas, its students, and its alumni. I believe Regent Hall has failed to fulfill this duty. His behavior meets the standard stated in the Speaker’s Proclamation.

On the question of whether Regent Hall’s conduct warrants grounds for impeachment, I will be voting yes.

Nice job, Rep. Alvarado.

Former Port Commission Chair Jim Edmonds is no longer with us. Jim was an old pal and one of the good guys. He gave a lot of his time to the Port and other H-Town projects. He was also one of H-Town’s better behind the scenes players. For years he was the go to guy for bond campaigns on the municipal and school district level. He loved the H-Town community. He left us way too soon and he will be missed.

I will skip the MLB question today.

It will be more one minute speakers at H-Town City Hall today to talk about the anti-discrimination ordinance. The vote is tomorrow.

I was at The Yard last night so I didn’t get to watch the interview last night with AC360. I did get to see an Altuve grounder get swallowed by Rangers’ rookie second baseman Rougned Odor’s jersey – a first for me. I did get a lazy Prince Fielder foul ball and gave it to a UH Law student – my third foul ball of the season. Only 14,000 and change showed up last night to watch a bunch of underperformers.

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