FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
RLCTX issues statement on liberty activist jailed for recording state committee meeting.
www.rlctx.net – Houston, Texas – March 23, 2017
An open government is the bedrock of a free society. For decades, Texas has had some of the strongest open government laws in the nation – laws ensure that Texans can know what their government is doing and how their government makes the decisions that affect their lives.
A 2005 recipient of the James Madison Award for his unwavering commitment to open government, Greg Abbott has championed greater transparency throughout his administration. He has supported bills passed by the Texas Legislature to bring the Open Meetings Act into the 21st Century, to require public officials to undergo training in Texas’ open government laws and to open the investment of public funds to more scrutiny.
Whereas open meetings of the Texas House State Affairs Committee are required to be held under Chapter 551,
Whereas Texas State Representative Byron Cook did violate Section 551.023 of the Texas Government Code, which allows any person attending an open meeting to record the meeting by means of a video camera, recorder, or similar device, subject to reasonable restrictions, by limiting recording of the Texas House State Affairs Committee to only members of credentialed media,
Whereas Byron Cook further violated the rights of Amy Hedtke by requesting that she be removed from that meeting unless she cease recording the meeting,
Whereas several officers of the Texas Department of Public Safety further violated the rights of Amy Hedtke by physically removing her from the committee meeting, placing her under arrest, and charging her with Criminal Trespass,
Therefore be it resolved, that the Republican Liberty Caucus of Texas condemns the actions of Texas State Representative Byron Cook, and considers him unfit to serve in the capacity of a chairman of a Texas House Committee until such time as he accepts that such committees are subject to Section 551.023 of the Texas Government code and issues a public apology to Amy Hedtke,
And be it further resolved that the Republican Liberty Caucus of Texas also condemns the actions of the Texas Department of Public Safety, and demands that all criminal charges against Amy Hedtke be dismissed, and that members of the Texas Department of Public Safety receive remedial training in the correct application of Section 551 of the Texas Government Code, and that the Texas Department of Public Safety issue a public apology to Amy Hedtke.
Republican Liberty Caucus of Texas
Jeff LeBlanc – Chairman
PO Box 2684
Dayton, TX 77535