The battle to release records kept secret by the City of Houston begins in court tomorrow.
EcoHub and its founder George Gitschel will ask State District Judge Kristen Hawkins to order the City of Houston to produce e-mails sent or received by Houston garbage boss Harry Hayes.
Stewart Hoffer, Attorney for EcoHub, wants to view the e-mails under a protective order as allowed under the Texas Public Information Act. Hoffer will not be allowed to share the contents of the e-mails with the public, or even his clients.
Joining the legal battle as a plaintiff is Wayne Dolcefino, President of the Investigative Communications firm Dolcefino Consulting. His company requested the records on behalf of EcoHub.
“The City of Houston has fought for nearly a year to keep e-mails about garbage and recycling contracts secret,” says Dolcefino. “If these garbage deals were good for the City of Houston, what is the Mayor afraid we will see?”
Turner’s decision not to continue the nearly complete deal with EcoHub prompted allegations of bid rigging and favoritism for the company eventually chosen.
“It is time for the City of Houston to honor the public right to know,” says Hoffer. “If the City of Houston has nothing to hide, then they shouldn’t be wasting taxpayer money fighting to keep e-mails secret. Fiscal responsibility will be paramount in the weeks ahead. The law allows our firm to inspect every e-mail that is responsive to EcoHub’s numerous prior requests, and we hope that Judge Hawkins will see things our way.”
The court hearing will be held tomorrow, Tuesday, October 10th, 2017 at 2:00 pm in the courtroom of the 55th District Court, on the ninth floor of the Civil Court house at 201 Caroline Street, Houston, Texas.