ATTORNEY GENERAL

Requests for Opinions

RQ-0164-KP

Requestor:

The Honorable Donna Campbell, M.D.

Chair, Committee on Veteran Affairs and Border Security

Texas State Senate

Post Office Box 12068

Austin, Texas 78711-2068

Re: Whether under certain circumstances municipal tree preservation ordinances may violate the Takings Clause of the Texas Constitution (RQ-0164-KP)

Briefs requested by July 10, 2017

RQ-0165-KP

Requestor:

Mr. Leo Flores

Webb County Auditor

1110 Washington Street, Suite 201

Laredo, Texas 78040

Re: Authority of a county commissioners court under Local Government Code section 111.062 to appoint two part-time employees to fulfill the functions of a county budget officer, and the applicability of incompatibility rules to the appointed employees (RQ-0165-KP)

Briefs requested by July 14, 2017

For further information, please access the website at www.texasattorneygeneral.gov or call the Opinion Committee at (512) 463-2110.

TRD-201702313

Amanda Crawford

General Counsel

Office of the Attorney General

Filed: June 13, 2017


Opinions

Opinion No. KP-0151

Mr. Chase Untermeyer, Chair

Texas Ethics Commission

Post Office Box 12070

Austin, Texas 78711-2070

Re: Application of section 552.1175 of the Government Code to reports filed with the Texas Ethics Commission that by statute must be made available to the public (RQ-0144-KP)

S U M M A R Y

A court would likely conclude that section 254.0401 of the Election Code and other statutes specific to the Texas Ethics Commission that require the Commission to make reports and statements available to the public are more specific than section 552.1175 of the Government Code.

As the more general statute of the two, section 552.1175 would not apply to require the Commission to redact or otherwise withhold information covered by that section when provisions outside of the Public Information Act expressly make the information public.

Subsection 572.032(a-1) of the Government Code requires the Commission to withhold the home address of a former judge or justice or a former home address that appears in financial statements.

Opinion No. KP-0152

Mr. Chase Untermeyer, Chair

Texas Ethics Commission

Post Office Box 12070

Austin, Texas 78711-2070

Re: Application of section 571.140 of the Government Code to sworn complaints filed with the Texas Ethics Commission when those complaints become the subject of litigation (RQ-0145-KP)

S U M M A R Y

Under the plain language of subsection 571.140(a) of the Government Code, a sworn complaint, along with documents and additional evidence related to the sworn complaint, filed with the Texas Ethics Commission loses its confidential nature and may be disclosed only when it has been entered into the record of a formal hearing or a judicial proceeding. Thus, despite being the subject of litigation, a sworn complaint remains confidential if it has not been entered into the record of a formal hearing or a judicial proceeding.

Opinion No. KP-0153

The Honorable Audrey Louis

District Attorney

81st Judicial District

1327 3rd Street

Floresville, Texas 78114

Re: Whether charitable organizations may conduct raffles that award alcoholic beverages as the prize (RQ-0146-KP)

S U M M A R Y

Because the award of alcohol as a raffle prize by a nonprofit charitable organization is not prohibited by the Charitable Raffle Enabling Act and is not a sale or otherwise an activity regulated by the Alcoholic Beverage Code, a court would likely conclude that current law does not prohibit such a raffle prize.

For further information, please access the website at www.texasattorneygeneral.gov or call the Opinion Committee at (512) 463-2110.

TRD-201702322

Amanda Crawford

General Counsel

Office of the Attorney General

Filed: June 14, 2017