Texas attorney general sues San Antonio for information about Chick-fil-A ban

Texas attorney general sues San Antonio for information about Chick-fil-A ban
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Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) sued the city of San Antonio Monday for documents relating to its decision to block Chick-fil-A from its airport.

The lawsuit seeks emails and internal communications from city employees and city council members relating to the Chick-fil-A contract. City Council Member Roberto Trevino, who introduced the proposal blocking the chain as an airport vendor, cited its “legacy of anti-LGBTQ behavior,” prompting Texas Republicans to accuse the city of violating the company’s religious liberty.

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“The City of San Antonio claims that it can hide documents because it anticipates being sued,” Paxton said in a statement Monday. “But we’ve simply opened an investigation using the Public Information Act. If a mere investigation is enough to excuse the City of San Antonio from its obligation to be transparent with the people of Texas, then the Public Information Act is a dead letter. The city’s extreme position only highlights its fear about allowing any sunshine on the religious bigotry that animated its decision.”

San Antonio City Attorney Andy Segovia told the Austin American-Statesman that Paxton’s rhetoric indicated he was incapable of conducting an impartial investigation.

“It is clear from the strident comments in his press release that any ‘investigation’ would be a pretense to justify his own conclusions,” Segovia said, adding that Paxton has not provided details of what specific authority was the basis for his investigation of the airport contract.

Paxton initially made the Texas Public Information Act request — which city officials denied — April 11, saying they were authorized to withhold documents that could be involved in future lawsuits. The Federal Aviation Administration announced last week it is also investigating the discrimination claims.

Paxton’s lawsuit argued that allowing the city an exemption on these grounds would neutralize the Public Information Act.

“If the city prevails here, then the public would be precluded from ever requesting any information whenever a government actor says that there may be a legal dispute at some point,” the lawsuit states.

Segovia countered that Paxton’s office sued while a decision on whether San Antonio was eligible for an exemption was still pending.

“Instead of allowing the routine process take its course, the AG decided to sue and not wait for a decision from his own department,” Segovia said, according to the American-Statesman.