Whistleblowing University of Texas Regent Wallace Hall today encouraged Gov. Greg Abbott and members of the Texas Senate not to rush proceedings regarding his replacement on the UT Board of Regents until the Texas Supreme Court can rule on his ongoing legal case.
Abbott made headlines yesterday when he passed over Hall and two other reform-minded regents, refusing to reappoint any of them to the Board. Meanwhile, State Sen. Brian Birdwell (R–Waco) who chairs the Nominations Committee is fast tracking those proceedings through the Texas Senate with hearings to begin Thursday.
Hall says the rush to replace him is designed to pre-empt the Supreme Court from ruling on his case by depriving him of standing. In a statement, Hall says lawmakers should delay replacing him until the court releases a ruling.
“Why rush, unless there is a preference to preempt the Supreme Court in a ruling Texans have waited years to obtain?” asked Hall. “Governor Abbott can wait for the court and we can all live by the new standards it will set, or he can push the Senate to preempt the court and kill any opportunity for reform.”
Hall’s previous efforts to investigate actions taken at UT have exposed corruption in the university admissions process. Those revelations forced the resignation of UT President Bill Powers and spurred some lawmakers that abused the system to retire from the legislature.
Texas Scorecard reached out to Abbott’s office for a comment on the issue but received no response; we will update this story if they reply.
Replacing Hall now, before the Supreme Court has a chance to finish its work and rule, would not only suppress any further evidence of corruption at UT from seeing the light of day, but would also leave in place dangerous precedent that would curtail transparency in government.
“It is clear that the Supreme Court has invested tremendous time and effort to consider the important issues in this case,” Hall stated. “It will be unfortunate if pressure by Governor Abbott preempts a ruling by the justices that could support pro-reform practices in our state institutions.”
Hall’s full press release may be viewed here.