PET lawsuit seeks a judicial ruling that legislators cannot legally serve on transportation planning boards.
October 6, 2005
Compiled from staff report
Anti-toll-road activist Sal Costello's People for Efficient Transportation on Wednesday filed suit against Gov. Rick Perry, the Texas Department of Transportation and the umbrella transportation planning organizations for Austin and San Antonio.
Costello and his group say the planning groups, whose boards include state legislators and who have approved toll road programs, have not been properly created under state law. Furthermore, the lawsuit seeks a judicial ruling that legislators cannot legally serve on such planning boards -- state Rep. Mike Krusee, R-Round Rock, serves on the Central Texas board and was instrumental in passing its toll road plan -- and that the so-called "metropolitan planning organizations" can't dispense federal transportation funds.
The lawsuit hinges, according to the 11-page complaint, on the lack of a state law creating the planning groups. People for Efficient Transportation, relying on a similar argument, won a lawsuit this year against the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority and prompted the Legislature to put a proposed constitutional amendment on the November ballot to rectify the situation.