Sunday, July 21, 2013

Dallas ISD Superintendent Mike Miles' comments violate the spirit of the Texas Public Information Act

On Saturday I posted the Office of Professional Responsibility 'Final Reportof the 'investigation' of 
"allegations made by the Chief of Communications, Rebecca Rodriguez, that Superintendent of Schools Floyd Mike Miles used 'undue influence' by pulling an agenda item from the June 13, 2013 monthly Board Briefing. Ms Rodriguez stated her concern was the agenda item was pulled because the vendor who was awarded the contract per Request For Proposal TH-204031 was not Mike Miles favored vendor."
I released the report because I strongly believe in open government. I believe in the Texas Public Information Act which clearly requires that public information be released to the public.

I also released the 'Final Report' because I knew an effort would be made to prevent public release of the information.

On Sunday Superintendent Mike Miles released a "lengthy statement" that confirms his desire and intention to prevent release of this Final Report of the Office of Professional Responsibility OPR).

In his public comments on Sunday, Superintendent Mike Miles stated "that this incomplete report should not be in the public domain."

In making this statement Superintendent Miles is expressing an arbitrary and self-serving viewpoint that disregards the clear requirements of the Texas Public Information Act.

On the second page of the OPR Report approved by Donald R. Smith, Jr., Chief Compliance Officer, it clearly states in plain English - 

"Type of Report - FINAL."

It is the final report of the investigation of the Office of Professional Responsibility. The statement of Superintendent Mike Miles that 
"this incomplete report should not be in the public domain" CLICK HERE-DMN 
is a false and untrue statement.
What does the Texas Public Information Act say about this?

Texas Government Code - Chapter 552. Public Information
"Sec. 552.001. Policy; Construction.
"(a) ... The people, in delegating authority, do not give their public servants the right to decide what is good for the people to know and what is not good for them to know. The people insist on remaining informed so that they may retain control over the instruments they have created. The provisions of this chapter shall be liberally construed to implement this policy.
"(a) without limiting the amount or kind of information that is public information under this chapter, the following information is public information and not excepted from required disclosure unless made confidential under this chapter or other law:
(1) a completed report, audit, evaluation, or investigation made of, for, or by a governmental body, except as provided by Section 552.108 (Exception: Certain Law Enforcement, Corrections, and Prosecutorial Information)"
The comments of Superintendent Mike Miles violate the spirit of the Texas Public Information Act. He is a public servant and has no right to prevent public access to information about public business.

It really doesn't matter what Superintendent Mike Miles thinks or believes. He is obligated to support and follow the laws of this state.

What matters is what the Texas Public Information Act permits or requires regarding the public's right to know.