Texas Town Backs Out of Open Meetings Suit

Staff Report
The Associated Press

BIG LAKE, Texas (AP) - A small West Texas town is backing out of a lawsuit that seeks to have part of the Texas Open Meetings Act struck down as unconstitutional.

The Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas says Big Lake city officials voted Tuesday to withdraw.

Four cities and 15 elected officials filed suit in federal court in Pecos in December. The lawsuit contends the law violates elected officials' First Amendment free speech rights by barring them from speaking in public or private about public issues. They argue that some communication, including in e-mails and social media Web sites, should be allowed by a quorum outside of a posted meeting.

Alpine, Pflugerville and Rockport joined the new suit as co-plaintiffs, along with four council members in Alpine and elected officials in Arlington, Boerne, Heath, Hurst, Joshua, Leon Valley, Rockport, Sugar Land, Whitesboro and Wichita Falls.