|Office of the Attorney General - State of Texas
December 29, 2000
Mr. Steven D. Monté
Dear Mr. Monté:
You ask whether certain information is subject to required public disclosure under chapter 552 of the Government Code. Your request was assigned ID# 144075.
The City of Dallas (the "city") received a request for all internal affairs summaries and employee resumes for any city employee who has been investigated for the city's personnel rules on theft. You claim that portions of the requested information are excepted from disclosure under sections 552.117 and 552.130 of the Government Code and section 1701.306 of the Occupations Code. We have considered the exceptions you claim and reviewed the submitted representative sample of information.(1)
Section 552.101 excepts from disclosure "information considered to be confidential by law, either constitutional, statutory, or by judicial decision." This section encompasses information protected by other statutes. Section 1703.306 of the Occupations Code prohibits the public disclosure of the results of polygraph examinations. Occ. Code § 1703.306. Therefore, you must withhold the results of polygraph examinations contained in the requested information. We have marked this information.
Information relating to the home address, home telephone number, or social security number of a peace officer, and information that reveals whether a peace officer has family members is excepted from public disclosure under section 552.117(2) of the Government Code. The requested information contains a peace officer's family member information, which must be withheld under this section. We have marked this information.
Finally, section 552.130 excepts from disclosure information relating to:
(1) a motor vehicle operator's or driver's license or permit issued by an agency of this state; [or]
(2) a motor vehicle title or registration issued by an agency of this state[.]
Therefore, you must withhold the license plate number contained in the requested documents under section 552.130.
This letter ruling is limited to the particular records at issue in this request and limited to the facts as presented to us; therefore, this ruling must not be relied upon as a previous determination regarding any other records or any other circumstances.
This ruling triggers important deadlines regarding the rights and responsibilities of the governmental body and of the requestor. For example, governmental bodies are prohibited from asking the attorney general to reconsider this ruling. Gov't Code § 552.301(f). If the governmental body wants to challenge this ruling, the governmental body must appeal by filing suit in Travis County within 30 calendar days. Id. § 552.324(b). In order to get the full benefit of such an appeal, the governmental body must file suit within 10 calendar days. Id. § 552.353(b)(3), (c). If the governmental body does not appeal this ruling and the governmental body does not comply with it, then both the requestor and the attorney general have the right to file suit against the governmental body to enforce this ruling. Id. § 552.321(a).
If this ruling requires the governmental body to release all or part of the requested information, the governmental body is responsible for taking the next step. Based on the statute, the attorney general expects that, within 10 calendar days of this ruling, the governmental body will do one of the following three things: 1) release the public records; 2) notify the requestor of the exact day, time, and place that copies of the records will be provided or that the records can be inspected; or 3) notify the requestor of the governmental body's intent to challenge this letter ruling in court. If the governmental body fails to do one of these three things within 10 calendar days of this ruling, then the requestor should report that failure to the attorney general's Open Government Hotline, toll free, at 877/673-6839. The requestor may also file a complaint with the district or county attorney. Id. § 552.3215(e).
If this ruling requires or permits the governmental body to withhold all or some of the requested information, the requestor can appeal that decision by suing the governmental body. Id. § 552.321(a); Texas Dep't of Pub. Safety v. Gilbreath, 842 S.W.2d 408, 411 (Tex. App.--Austin 1992, no writ).
Please remember that under the Act the release of information triggers certain procedures for costs and charges to the requestor. If records are released in compliance with this ruling, be sure that all charges for the information are at or below the legal amounts. Questions or complaints about over-charging must be directed to Hadassah Schloss at the General Services Commission at 512/475-2497.
If the governmental body, the requestor, or any other person has questions or comments about this ruling, they may contact our office. Although there is no statutory deadline for contacting us, the attorney general prefers to receive any comments within 10 calendar days of the date of this ruling.
Nathan E. Bowden
Ref: ID# 144075
Encl. Submitted documents
cc: Jane E. Bishkin
1. In reaching our conclusion here, we assume that the "representative sample" of the requested records submitted to this office is truly representative of the requested records as a whole. See Open Records Decision Nos. 499 (1988), 497 (1988). This open records letter does not reach, and therefore does not authorize the withholding of, any other requested records to the extent that those records contain substantially different types of information than that submitted to this office.
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