"And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart."
Empower Texans beats us to the punch:
A Travis County Grand Jury sent out notice earlier today that University of Texas Regent and whistleblower Wallace Hall will not be indicted on any charges, but not before they attempted to besmirch his reputation in a baffling public letter calling for less transparency.Read the whole thing here.
The grand jury was investigating whether or not Hall abused his official capacity as a regent and misused public information in issuing open records requests. He issued the requests as part of an investigation into whether or not legislators were abusing their clout in order to gain admission to UT-Austin for under-qualified students.
In their comments, members of the grand jury recommended removing Hall after they just cleared him of all charges. “We are appalled at the Regent’s unaccountable and abusive behavior,” the report contradictorily states. The jury’s observations go on to say “Hall used his positional power to the point of abuse,” one of the very charges they determined lacked sufficient evidence to prosecute.
More baffling, however, is that the grand jury simultaneously observed, “Transparency and accountability are key elements in maintaining citizens’ trust in their government,” but then went on to recommend UT revise its policies to make records requests prohibitively difficult for regents.
It speaks volumes that the grand jury, whose recommendations and observations cast it as a mere apologist for UT’s established leadership, would not indict Regent Hall despite taking an extra three months to investigate him. Hall has been vindicated at every turn, despite baseless attacks on him for actually doing his job, instead of just playing along.
Later this afternoon, he released a statement:
Following the announcement from the jury, Hall broke his silence saying, “The campaign by Speaker Straus, Representative Flynn and Senator Seliger to criminalize my service as a Regent constitutes abuse of office. Their use of the levers of political power to cover up wrongdoing by legislators should now be investigated, and those exposed for their abuses should be driven from office.”Kudos, again, to Wallace; it's a shame that Governor Abbott has thrown in with the U.T. politburo.
Wallace Hall remains on the board for at least 23 months; expect U.T. governance to be a much bigger issue in the 2016 Republican primaries.