Monday, January 19, 2015

 
IS IT OVER FOR TONY?

NOTE:  I may edited this again - I think it is there.  I considered a summary but it does not work.  Bottom line Items B and C listed for Executive Session are illegal and criminal.  Commissioners may speak about what is said in Executive Session, they just cannot disclose the Certified Agenda, and in real estate deals - the seller or buyer related to the city may not attend Executive Sessions.  The violations keep on building.  Every commissioner who remains silent exposes themselves to possible criminal prosecution.

Any commissioner who has been threatened in Executive Session is free to disclose same to the press along with any vulgarities thrown at them.  Threatening a city commissioner with criminal prosecution for exercising their right to speak about what is said in Executive Session could be a crime if the city commissioner wants to expose illegal conduct.  It's called threatening a witness.

This is Tuesday's post - I have a very busy Tuesday - I may reedit one more time before leaving in the morning.

POST

Over the last few months I have learned AG Opinions are worthless and quiet often make no sense.  As a reader pointed out Estela Chavez-Vasquez became disqualified to serve so therefore she cannot be a holdover.  But as I documented on the 15th AG Hill begs to differ.

I believe The Texas Supreme Court would agree with my reader.  If you are not qualified in the first instance how can you serve? - it's just a stupid opinion.

The AG opinion on whether Rose Gowen was conflicted out on the Lincoln Park issue does not address the issue of superfluous language.  I am convinced had an interim appeal been taken the Court of Appeals would have stayed everything until it resolved the issue of superfluous language.

DID ESTELA CHAVEZ-VASQUEZ RESIGN BECAUSE SHE WANTED TO DISTANCE HERSELF FROM TONY?

Three important decisions have been made involving links to Tony which suggest maybe smart people are turning away from him.  Estela Chavez-Vasquez resigned after the last BCIC meeting, but she did not attend the meeting.  Two of the members of the BCIC whose terms ended at the end of 2014, accepted they were no longer members, only Rose Gowen insisted and moved forward.

WARNING TO ALL CITY COMMISSIONERS - YOUR IGNORANCE OF THE LAW DOES NOT ABSOLVE YOU FROM CRIMINAL PROSECUTION FOR ILLEGAL EXECUTIVE SESSIONS - YOU HAVE A LEGAL DUTY TO WALK OUT AND CONSULT COUNSEL

At this point it is almost too bizarre to comprehend.  But to the city commissioners the first to law enforcement will be the only one protected if this thing explodes.  I am now 100% convinced Estela Chavez-Vasquez resigned as she did because either on her own or through independent counsel she realized she was making herself party to criminal conduct.

I'm not sure even where to begin.

COMMISSIONERS ARE NOT BARRED FROM PUBLICLY DISCUSSING WHAT HAPPENES IN EXECUTIVE SESSION


"Section 551.146 does not prohibit members of the governmental body or other persons who attend an

executive session from making public statements about the subject matter of the executive session.415
Other statutes or duties, however, may limit what a member of the governmental body may say
publicly."

See 2014 AG Handbook - page 63 What cannot be disclose is the Certified Agenda. See Also AG Opinion

This issue gets complex and commissioners should proceed with caution.  You do not want to discuss personnel matters, litigation strategy, or on going negotiations because you could compromise the city.  But if you see or hear something which clearly violates the Open Meetings Act, without getting into any of the former you can discuss it.  You can discuss the city is going forward on a real estate deal which violates the City Charter. 


So if a commissioner hears something illegal or is threatened in Executive Session they are free to go to the press with it.  They just cannot disclose the Certified Agenda.  Anyone threatening a commissioner to not disclose illegal conduct is obstructing justice and thereby engaged in criminal conduct.

THE GALONSKY MESS AND MEETING VIOLATIONS

Here is the law:

"A governmental body may conduct a closed meeting to deliberate the purchase, exchange, lease, or value of real property if deliberation in an open meeting would have a detrimental effect on the position of the governmental body in negotiations with a third person."

I did an open records request concerning any document which showed "if deliberation in an open meeting would have a detrimental effect on the position of the governmental body in negotiations with a third person."  as it related to the El Cid building owned by Nurith and Tally Galonsky. 

John Chosy for the city responded with none.

This means the city commissioners are not doing their job.  Before allowing such a meeting to move forward they need to demand the city attorney document the exception to the open meetings act.  We all know why it was done behind closed doors - to try and hide the fact it was owned by Nurith and Tally Galonsky.

I was hoping that in the information I requested - there was more - I would learn the name of the attorney representing the Galonskys. 

AG HANDBOOK EXPRESSLY SAYS - SELLER OF REAL ESTATE MAY NOT BE IN EXECUTIVE SESSION

CLICK SEE PAGE 54

HERE IS THE DEAL CITY COMMISSIONERS

By failing to demand Sossi justify his decision in writing you waived any affirmative defense you may have had to criminal prosecution. Tex Gov. Code 551.144

A CITY COMMISSIONER CAN BE PROSECUTED FOR PARTICIPATING IN AN ILLEGAL CLOSED MEETING

See, Tovar v. State, 978 S.W.2d 584 (Tex. Crim. App. 1998).  Thereafter the Texas Legislature Amended the law to provide for good faith exception such as - being lied to by Mark Sossi.  great right?, unless you never asked him to justify his decision to place an item in Executive Session - then you have no defense.

THE FEDERAL COURTS AND AG HAVE MADE CLEAR DURING REAL ESTATE DEALS THIRD PARTIES OTHER THEN CITY EMPLOYEES CANNOT PARTICIPATE IN EXECUTIVE SESSION

Click for Federal Opinion see page 787

"The City asserts that its closed meetings with Mavericks representatives and real estate owner Woodbine Development Corporation representatives are encompassed within this real estate exception. The City's interpretation misreads the provision. The members of the Committee "may consult with their employees in private, but may not consult with other third parties in private." Op.Tex.Att'y Gen. No. DM-191 (1992)."

In the Casa del Nylon case I seem to remember one of the memos I got involving Diane Dillard, Abraham Galonsky or his attorney was at an executive session. I have to find those and go back through them.   If this happened then the meeting was a crime.  If any Galonsky representative at any time appeared in Executive Session concerning the purchase of the El Cid Building - it was a criminal act, and the commissioners have no defense unless they demanded Sossi justify the Executive Session in writing.

The time to tell the truth is now, and not after the city is sued,  Both Galonsky deals could theoretically be reversed.

NOTHING BARS COMMISSIONERS FROM DISCUSSING THIS IN PUBLIC

If a Galonsky representative appeared in any Executive Session concerning this real estate deal, any commissioner is free to disclose this.  They are not disclosing the Certified Agenda.  The are disclosing an illegal meeting, for which there is no criminal prosecution against the commission for disclosing same.  They have every right to rely on the federal Finlan decision I quoted above, and the AG opinion.  No third parties in the Executive Session who are not employees - that is that law.  If anyone commented on the legality of negotiating a real estate deal with Nurith Galonsky, the commissioners are free to talk about it to the press or with the public - it shows the commission knew the deal violated the City Charter and did not care.

THERE ARE TWO ILLEGAL EXECUTIVE SESSION ITEMS ON TUESDAY'S AGENDA

Last Wednesday City Attorney Sossi told the Collegian that he is in the process of conferring with the city commission concerning Estela Chavez-Vasquez's resignation.  There is nothing on Tuesday agenda to allow for this - but there are in fact two illegal Attorney Consultations  notices concerning Executive Session.

Is it Sossi's intent to use one of these two illegal use of Attorney Consultation to confer with the City Commission on the vacancy created by Estela Chavez Vasquez?

Items B and C under Executive Session fail to inform the people the basis of the consultation.  See City Agenda

The AG handbook and the Texas Supreme Court have been clear - these general notices are not sufficient.  We have a right to know what he intends to consult with the city commission on.

From The Texas Supreme Court:

 " The Act's purposes cannot be circumvented by mere reference to one of the section 2 exceptions. The advance notice given under section 3A(a) should specifically disclose the subjects to be considered at the upcoming meeting."

 .... .

"However, less than full disclosure is not substantial compliance. Our prior judgments should have served as notice to all public bodies that the Open Meetings Act requires a full disclosure of the subject matter of the meetings. The Act is intended to safeguard the public's interest in knowing the workings of its governmental bodies. A public body's willingness to comply with the Open Meetings Act should be such that the citizens of Texas will not be compelled to resort to the courts to assure that a public body has complied with its statutory duty.

We reverse the judgment of the court of appeals in part and declare that the Board violated the Open Meetings Act by providing inadequate notice of its executive sessions and by improperly convening its executive sessions without a quorum present. In all other respects, we affirm the judgment of the court of appeals."

ITEMS B AND C ARE ILLEGAL AND DO NOT EVEN MAKE THE PRETENSE OF COMPLIANCE WITH THE OPEN RECORDS MEETINGS ACT

Does anyone know the subject matter Mark Sossi intends to discuss with the commissioners? Nope - I bet it concerns Estela Chavez-Vasquez.  Both items are illegal and any commissioner who remains in the room is engaged in criminal conduct.  The commissioners have a duty to notify Mark Sossi that unless he can produce a legal memo justifying putting no subject matter on the item, he may not convene the meeting in Executive Session.  They also need to walk out to avoid criminal prosecution.

THE COMMISSIONERS HAVE A DUTY TO TELL THE PEOPLE IF SOSSI MOVES FORWARD ILLEGALLY - IF THEY REMAIN THEY REMAIN SUBJECT TO CRIMINAL PROSECUTION.

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