On Friday, the Texas Attorney General's Office told the city of Dallas to give up those police records pertaining to Mayor Dwaine Caraway's pals Arthur and Archie. At which point Caraway's attorney -- Michael Payma of Payma, Kuhnel, & Smith -- turned around and sued Greg Abbott, claiming the AG had "incorrectly applied" the open-records law to those should-be-open records.
Tom Kelley, the press secretary for the AG's office, tells Unfair Park this afternoon Abbott hasn't even been served with the suit yet. Which means: Nothing will happen for "some time," as Kelley puts it -- at least until a court date's been set. Says Kelley via e-mail: "We'll file an answer within 30 days."
Some locals have wondered, though: Shouldn't Caraway have sued the city too, since, after all, it's the custodian of the records? Kelley says since "we made the ruling," a suit against the AG at the very least is appropriate in this instance. Nevertheless, Payma -- for whom a message has been left -- hasn't filed legal docs attempting to keep the City Attorney's Office from adhering to the March 1 ruling, which triggered a 10-day deadline for the release of the records.
The question is: Aside from Caraway's attorneys insisting the AG's office misinterpreted the Texas Public Information Act, is there any other obstacle standing in the way of the city's making the police report public? I've left several phone messages for, and sent two e-mails to, City Attorney Tom Perkins trying to find out the city's position. One source says it's possible the city could just sit back and say, "Not us," then point to the pending litigation as reason enough to hold off on the release of the records.
"It's not a call we would make," Kelley says. "We're proceeding under the assumption we're under a court challenge by the mayor, but that's between the mayor and the city." He's offered to do some more digging, by which point, fingers crossed, we'll have heard back from Perkins. Or Payma. Or Arthur and Archie.
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