Thursday, December 20, 2007

Judge sustains TxDOT's objection that TURF's request for information was too broad

Group Fights TxDOT in Court over Toll Roads


KLBJ News Radio
Copyright 2007

A group against toll roads and the Trans-Texas Corridor is fighting the state's transportation department for e-mails and letters that it says could prove political influence in advertising the benefits of toll roads in Texas.

"[We want to] stop the 'Keep Texas Moving' [advertising] campaign and any other similar effort to, for a political purpose, skew the information out there and skew the political debate in favor of a toll road policy," says Charles Riley, one of the attorneys for the group "Texans United for Reform and Freedom".

In the 419th District Court on Thursday, Judge Orlinda Naranjo heard arguments from Riley, as well as Christine Silcox, from the Texas Attorney General's Office, before ruling to sustain TxDOT's objection that TURF's request for information was too broad. TURF is asking for e-mails and records from TxDOT, alleging that they could prove political influence through the advertising messages on billboard, print and internet.

"I'm trying to get you two to sit down and narrow your request," Naranjo told Riley, before directing him to resubmit his request for information. Judge Naranjo has given TURF until January 18 to submit a revised and more pinpointed version of their request for TxDOT e-mails and letters.

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