Hill County’s attorney is using procedural tactics to delay the release of public records related to vast irregularities uncovered in the March primary. A private investigation revealed that nearly 1,800 votes appear to have been illegally cast in the election.
With election officials unable to account for the discrepancy, the Secretary of State formally requested a criminal investigation by the Attorney General’s office. In the wake of the controversy, Hill County’s Election Administrator resigned.
Now, the county’s lawyer, David Holmes, is unnecessarily delaying open records requests submitted by Direct Action Texas (DAT). In an email exchange between DAT and Holmes, the Hill County attorney admits its standard policy for his county to automatically request a ruling from the Attorney General before releasing public records. Holmes wrote:
“Your accusation is ridiculous, sir, and for obvious reasons, I am offended by it. I am trying to make sure that a county official does not commit official misconduct. An AG ruling protects the custodian from releasing something that they shouldn’t.”
Governments seeking to fatigue and discourage extensive public inquiry commonly use this tactic, even though frivolous requests of the AG’s office are a complete waste of time and taxpayer money.
DAT responded with the below flow chart, with a footnote that read:
“Following these simple steps will save taxpayers money and stop wasting everyone’s time. Plus remove the hard job of thinking away from County Attorney, Elections Administrator, or anyone else who might by overwhelmed by such a task.”
The Attorney General’s office has yet to begin its investigation into the matter. In the meantime, citizens continue to do their own digging, and expect to face further obstruction from government officials.