New judge in Texas Tech records
State District Judge John B. Board of Amarillo has been appointed to hear the lawsuit over Texas Tech secrecy.
The court action by Administrative Judge Kelly Moore came just hours after Dolcefino Consulting filed legal action to force him to act.
“Respondent has a ministerial duty to appoint a new judge after a recusal”, the writ of mandamus read. “Respondent has been repeatedly asked to carry out that duty and he has not done so. A writ of mandamus should be issued to compel that reassignment.”
The court action had been filed by three Dallas lawyers on behalf of Dolcefino Consulting, Michael Hurst and David Coale representing the law firm of Lynn Pinker Cox & Hurst, LLP, and Julie Pettit, founding partner of the Pettit Law Firm.
The fight over public records in Lubbock was in limbo after Judge Bill Sowder recused himself from the case without an explanation why. Judge Moore had ignored calls to appoint a new judge, prompting the legal action.
Texas Tech hides records detailing the truth behind the firing of former Coach Mike Leach, sex assaults and harassment on campus, and documents detailing the use of grants to the Texas Tech Health Science Center.
Board is Judge of the 181st District Court in Potter County.
“We are gratified that we have been given a Potter County Judge with no known conflicts in Lubbock to hear this case,” says Wayne Dolcefino, President of Dolcefino Consulting. “All we want is sunshine, and full disclosure of records the public has a fundamental right to see. This could be over tomorrow if Tech had nothing to hide. We should not have had to spend money just to get a judge appointed. But Texas Tech secrecy cannot be allowed to stand. If the local media is too afraid to expose it, we will.”
The legal action comes as Dolcefino Consulting begins filing criminal complaints against individual members of the Board of Regents for refusing to turn over phone records detailing Texas Tech business calls. Dolcefino Consulting is also reviewing the possibility of new legal action in Austin.
“Texas Tech has ignored rulings by the Texas Attorney General in recent weeks, yet the AG’s office has been helping them hide records and representing them in court. It is the very definition of a conflict of interest,” says Dolcefino.
Judge Board will travel to Lubbock to hear legal arguments. No date is set yet for the next hearing.