Newspaper clipping headlined, "Judge Atkinson Says Meetings Don't Violate Law," undated
Newspaper clipping by Jerry Graham headlined, "Judge Atkinson Says Meetings Don't Violate Law," from the Longview News-Journal, discussing whether the Gregg County Judge violated the Texas Open Meetings Act. An annotation on the clipping reads, "This is probably what the Att. Gen. got. And they think it is funny. Please sir help us."
Clippings (information artifacts)
Texas. Attorney-General's Office
State governments--Officials and employees
"Texas Governor Term 2, 1987-1991"
Texas A&M University
Cushing Memorial Library and Archives
"Governor William P. Clements, Jr. Official State Papers, 2nd Term, 1987-1991"
State Papers Addendum | 2nd term
Texas State library and archives commission
Clements Texas Papers
Judge Atkinson says meetings don't violate law By JERRY GRAHAM Staff Writer Gregg County Judge Henry Atkinson said Tuesday he and two com- missioners did not vio- late the Texas Open Meetings Law when they gath- ered in his office just before the Monday meeting of the corn- Atkinson missioners court. The Open Meetings Law prohibits the members of public governing bodies from holding secret meetings and deliberating about public matters, but does not prohibit casual visits at which public business is not dis- cussed. Atkinson met in his inner of- fice Monday with Commissioners Jack Bean and C.B. Young, and District Attorney David Brabham said a citizen had complained to him that the meeting violated the law. Brabham said he was looking into the matter. At this point, he said, he would not characterize his action as an investigation and "I am just look- ing into it." Atkinson said there was no violation, because they did not discuss county business when they visited in his office before the meeting. "No possible violation of the Open Meetings Law occurred. It didn't this time, it never has in the past, nor will it ever in the future," Atkinson said. He said the front door to his of- fice complex was not locked, and the door to his inner office always stays open. Atkinson routinely visits with some commissioners before the meetings, and during those visits, he said, people come and go, commissioners come in, Atkinson talks to them and he talks to people on the telephone — but they don't violate the Open Meetings Law. "I know of nothing in the Open Meetings Law which requires us to not sit down and drink coffee, or whatever, before or after a meeting," he said. "I have been in office 22 years, and the door to this office is always open. I have had visits with individual commissioners, and with all of them at times, and I will continue to do so," he said. He said the suggestion he vio- f)-1-•61- •••••••."-- dj_ztAa-e- 0a-e;z- lated the Open Meetings Law is "totally ill-founded just as the other asinine assertions" made by his critics. He said his critics could sit in the outer portion of his office and listen while he visits with the commissioners. "I challenge them to sit out there anytime they want to and listen to what goes on in this of- fice. The door is never closed," he said. "If anybody has any evidence of a violation, they can give it to the DA and he will take the appropriate action," Atkinson said. "It doesn't bother me in the least," Atkinson said. •