POSTED: Friday, October 10, 2008 - 5:38pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, March 17, 2010 - 10:59am
SMITH COUNTY - The Texas Attorney General sides with a local anti-jail committee.
Now, Smith County Commissioners have a decision to make.
Tyler Attorney and Member of "What Part Of No Don't You Understand Committe" Ken Good says, "You cannot have deliberations in secret if you're a county judge and county commissioners."
Good is standing firm on his views— no new jail and no secrets.
He tells KETK, in July, Smith County Commissioners developed the new 59-point-six million dollar jail plan behind closed doors, with no public knowledge.
One week later.. the County Commissioners released the "bare bones jail" plan to the media.
Good says, "When you're saying- what's the problem? The problem is, they way they've put it together. That's the whole problem."
Good says, that violates the open meetings act, and that's against the law.
Good says, "There was never an agenda posted under law."
That's why, he says, he took his complaint to the State Attorney General's office.
Good says, "Two days ago, he released his opinion saying none of this is confidential. Ken's right. Judge Baker and Commissioner Fleming are wrong. They need to produce this."
Good wants Smith County Commissioners to produce all of the jail records.
Good says, "I am shocked that the A.G. office's decision, that we should release those floor plans."
Precinct One Smith County Commissioner JoAnn Fleming tells KETK- no way!
Commissioner Fleming says, "I'm gonna tell you- this Commissioner is not gonna support releasing floor plans that will put officers in danger."
All of the floor plans would include security information about the jail.
That's information County officials say, shouldn't be out there for everyone to see.
Smith County Sheriff J.B. Smith says— not only does it put his officers in danger, it puts the public in danger, too.
And he won't let that happen.
Sheriff Smith Says, "I believe in open records. We do it all the time. But, when it comes to the security of the public, I'm gonna stand flat-footed and fight it to the wall."
At this point, Smith County Commissioners can do one of two things— give the records to good, or file suit against the Attorney General's office in Travis County.
Regardless, Good says, it's not over.
Good says, "the election may be over november 4th.. but i'm not dropping this issue until they agree to do it again.. or there's a court order prohibiting them from doing it again."
The Smith County Commissioner's Court will meet and discuss the issue in detail on Monday.
Sheriff Smith also tells me, the Sheriff's Association of Texas is now involved.