Click for home page Office of the Attorney General - State of Texas
John Cornyn
image
 

September 13, 1999

Ms. E. Cary Grace
Assistant City Attorney
City of Houston
Legal Department
P.O. Box 11562
Houston, Texas 77251-1562

OR99-2558

Dear Ms. Grace:

You ask whether certain information is subject to required public disclosure under chapter 552 of the Government Code. Your request was assigned ID# 127590.

The City of Houston Police Department (the "department") received a request for "a copy of the full report including the questioning of [O]fficer Marticiuc, his response and the collaborate [sic] action taken by [the] Houston Police Department" regarding a complaint filed by the requestor. You state that you are making the "information pertaining to the relevant sustained complaint against Officer Hans Marticiuc" available to the requestor. You contend that the Internal Affairs Division investigation file is excepted from disclosure pursuant to section 552.101 of the Government Code in conjunction with provisions of chapter 143 of the Local Government Code. We have considered the exception you claim and have reviewed the documents at issue.

Section 552.101 of the Government Code excepts from disclosure information deemed confidential by statutes such as section 143.1214 of the Local Government Code. Section 143.1214(b) provides in part:

The department shall maintain . . . any document in the possession of the department that relates to a charge of misconduct against a fire fighter or police officer that the department did not sustain, only in a file created by the department for the department's use. The department may not release those documents to any agency or other person except another law enforcement agency or fire department.

Local Gov't Code 143.1214(b).

You state that the requestor's allegations were not sustained. However, you inform us that "the investigation did uncover evidence of Misconduct Not Alleged in the Complaint," which was sustained. Furthermore, you explain Officer Marticiuc is "the only officer who received disciplinary action as a result of the incident in question," and that you have released documents pertaining to the disciplinary action. Finally, you state that the IAD investigation file is "maintained for the department's own use and is not part of any police officer's civil service file." We conclude that the IAD investigation file is confidential pursuant to section 143.1214(b) of the Local Government Code and must be withheld from disclosure under section 552.101 of the Government Code. See Open Records Decision No. 642 (1996) (applying section 143.1214 to documents relating to investigation conducted by Houston Police Department's Public Integrity Review where investigation concluded that allegations were unfounded).(1)

We are resolving this matter with an informal letter ruling rather than with a published open records decision. This ruling is limited to the particular records at issue under the facts presented to us in this request and should not be relied upon as a previous determination regarding any other records. If you have questions about this ruling, please contact our office.

Sincerely,

Yen-Ha Le
Assistant Attorney General
Open Records Division

YHL/nc

Ref:: ID# 127590

Encl.: Submitted documents

cc: Mr. Khalid Mohamed Nagashi
5615 Rampart St., Apt. #29
Houston, Texas 77081-1314
(w/o enclosures)


 

Footnotes

1. We have determined that section 143.089(e) of the Local Government Code does not give a police officer or fire fighter a right of access to the internal file that the police or fire department maintains on the police officer or fire fighter for its own use. Open Records Letter No. 98-0355 (1998).
 

POST OFFICE BOX 12548, AUSTIN, TEXAS 78711-2548 TEL: (512) 463-2100 WEB: WWW.OAG.STATE.TX.US
An Equal Employment Opportunity Employer


Home | ORLs