By Jon Cassidy | Watchdog.org
HOUSTON – Legal counsel for the University of Texas System submitted a report Tuesday finding “no credible evidence” that Regent Wallace Hall violated a state law protecting confidential information or “any other state or federal law.”
Attorney Philip Hilder’s letter to a legislative committee investigating whether or not to recommend Hall’s impeachment came in response to a request by state Rep. Ferdinand “Trey” Fischer, who has accused Hall of breaking the law by showing his attorney e-mails regarding special treatment for certain applicants to the University of Texas.
“Those e-mails may not even be subject to FERPA (a federal student privacy law) given the purpose and content of the communication,” Hilder wrote.
Even if they are covered, Hilder wrote, “FERPA clearly allows for disclosure to ‘school officials,’” which include Hall, so long as they have a legitimate educational purpose.
“Regent Hall had a legitimate educational purpose for possessing the alleged FERPA email(s) because it/they raise concerns about possible favoritism in the U.T. Austin admissions process,” Hilder wrote. That alone “justified retaining the documents,” he wrote.
Hilder’s review found that “no one has ever been prosecuted for violating” the state law that Fischer accused Hall of breaking, and that “no appellate court has held that release of student records” violates that law, either.
The idea that it’s illegal to share records with your attorney in the face of prosecution or litigation is simply “absurd” under Texas law, Hilder wrote. If it were criminal to do so, you’d have defendants required to share documents with plaintiffs as part of discovery, but facing criminal charges for sharing them with their own attorneys, he wrote.
Contact Jon Cassidy at email@example.com or @jpcassidy000.
- Texas’ Rep. Pitts announces retirement after improper influence story
- University of Texas regents show support for Wallace Hall
- Case against UT regent Wallace Hall is a sham — here’s proof
- Texas senator got $477k for supposed ‘cameo’ appearance in Wallace Hall lawsuit
- Lawmaker admits pulling strings on UT admissions
- Trustee accused of crime for rejecting dodgy accounting
- Longhorns: Senator used clout in UT law school admissions
- Children of Texas lawmakers get into UT School of Law, but struggle to pass bar exam
- Chancellor is probing favoritism in UT admissions
- UT report: Charge against Hall is legally ‘absurd’
- Attorney in UT case hides six-figure charges despite terms of contract
- University of Texas clout scandal grows as new e-mails surface
- Four more get into UT Law despite low LSATs
- Reports on UT favoritism, impeachment expected soon
- Attorney: Secret tape covered up by lawmakers proves regent’s innocence
- Dozens of UT Law’s least qualified students are connected politically
- University of Texas uncovers admissions corruption, halts investigation
- UT admissions: Straus, Branch, Pitts pulled strings
- Who got the 128? UT Law admits students with bad LSAT scores
- Patrick’s win may doom Hall impeachment effort
- Chancellor promises complete investigation of UT admissions
- Board to decide UT president’s fate Thursday
- Texas politicians smarten up, ditch UT pres this time around
- Tribune story may have doomed UT’s Powers
- Academics condone the privilege they denounce
- Three essential stories on the UT admissions scandal
- Texas AG Greg Abbott embraces Roe v. Wade
- Roe v. Wade is AG’s new pretext for blocking Texas law school investigation