City of Eagle Pass Misuses Attorney General Order to Hide Information About the 57 South Music Festival

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What’s Going On?

The festival caused the city to lose $2.35 million, and when The Maverick Times News wanted to know more, the city only gave some information and blacked out parts of the documents. They said it was because of a Texas Attorney General Open Records Division No. 684.

Why is the City of Eagle Pass being so secretive about how they picked the organizer for the 57 South Music Festival?

You can read Texas Attorney General Open Records Division No. 684 HERE.

READ MORE ABOUT: Eagle Pass City Council Reveals Financial Outcome of 57 South Music Festival

Misusing the Order

What are they trying to hide? The city used a decision meant to keep email addresses private to hide important information. This decision, Texas Government Code Section 552.137, says email addresses of regular people shouldn’t be shared.

But doesn’t it seem strange that it doesn’t apply if the email is from someone who wants to work with the city or if it’s in documents about a contract?

READ MORE ABOUT: Controversy Surrounds Award of 57 South Music Festival Contract to Just 1 Management LLC

What the Order Really Says

The decision states that email addresses can be kept private unless they are from someone trying to get a contract with the city.

So, shouldn’t emails in documents like the “scoring sheets” used to choose the festival organizer be public?

Analyzing the Redacted Letter

The city used this decision to redact key information from the documents requested by The Maverick Times News. These documents included “scoring sheets” and other materials directly related to the selection of Just 1 Management LLC for the festival. The city’s justification was that the documents contained confidential email addresses. However, according to the order, emails related to bids or contracts should not be redacted.

READ MORE ABOUT: Eagle Pass City Council Approves 57 South Festival in Collaboration with Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas

This misuse of the order has prevented the public from seeing how the committee evaluated the candidates. The redacted documents obscure important details about the criteria and rationale used in the decision-making process. Without access to this information, how can the public be sure that the selection process was fair and unbiased? The lack of transparency raises suspicions about what might be hidden.

How can we trust the process was fair and honest if we can’t see the details?

You can read the Redaction Letter HERE.

READ MORE ABOUT: New Insights Suggest Eagle Pass Could Have Saved Over $1M by Cancelling 57 South Music Festival

Why It Matters

By misusing this order, the city is failing to be transparent. People can’t see how the selection committee decided who would organize the festival.

The City of Eagle Pass needs to fix this mistake and share all the information. Don’t the residents deserve to know how their money is being spent and why certain choices were made? The Maverick Times News is committed to finding the truth and holding the city accountable.

We urge the public and local officials to demand full transparency. The integrity of our city and the trust of its residents depend on it.

The Maverick Times News will continue to fight for the release of this information until the public gets the answers they deserve.

READ MORE ABOUT: Eagle Pass Initiates Forensic Audit for 57 South Music Festival Following Financial Shortfalls

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