Houston Community College continues its fight against transparency

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- The Houston Community College System continues to fight against giving up many public records and the latest battle on the issue will be seen this week.

HCC Trustee Dave Wilson who has been fighting to get more information about a $8.5 million purchase of a former Conn's electronic store the college made using bond money the taxpayers signed off on. Wilson wanted the college lawyer's opinion on why the college was allowed to buy it. That's because HCC has plans to rent it out, which may be in violation of bond rules.

See the ABC-13 report on the Conn's purchase here.

The HCC brass wants Wilson to sign a letter that explains the lawyer's opinion is attorney-client privilege and saying that if Wilson spills the beans he's subject to a felony.

Wilson shot back his own letter telling the college he won't sign the letter and demanded the college's lawyers stop making him jump through hoops for information he should be able to see.

Wilson is elected to make sure your money and resources are spent wisely. You may not like him and the college system's administrators may not like him, but it's his elected position.

The issue is on the agenda of a 4 p.m. HCC Trustees meeting Thursday.

This year, the college's lawyers tried -- twice -- to seal a large swatch of documents related to its ongoing legal battle with the school's former acting chancellor. A judge said no both times.

In another battle this year, HCC sued the Texas Attorney General's Office, arguing that AG was wrong in its decision to make public payments to an outside law firm. A local watchdog and blogger wanted that information.

He also wanted to see how HCC Chancellor Maldonado uses his taxpayer-paid-for public credit card. HCC fought that for months, too, eventually losing.

Odd, it seems, for a college that boasts: "We will be responsive to the community's needs," as HCC Chancellor Cesar Maldonado said during a recent State of the College address.

We don't know how much HCC has spent fighting these records requests but certainly too much, don't you think it's too much?

We'd like to know. Contact me on Twitter, on my Facebook page or on the online tipline to the right of the video.
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