A Bexar County commissioner has voted in favor of the commission suing the Texas attorney general's office to overturn its order requiring him to make public some of his personal e-mails.
The San Antonio Express News sought the release of Commissioner Tommy Adkisson's e-mails under an open records request to determine if he had discussed public business such as transportation issues via private correspondence. The attorney general's office approved the request.
Adkisson cast the tie-breaking vote Monday in the 3-2 commissioner's court decision authorizing the lawsuit. The deadline to file the lawsuit is later this week.
The attorney general's office ordered Adkisson to release the e-mails in May.
Adkisson said complying would "intrude into personal privacy and free-speech rights" and that the open-records request was filed "under the guise of open government."
Adkisson's attorney, George Hyde, says the commissioner could not take legal action on his own. Monday's vote did not approve the use of taxpayer money on the lawsuit.
Early this month, Bexar County District Attorney Susan Reed told Adkisson that her office could not represent him in the lawsuit because she -- on behalf of the state -- might have to criminally prosecute him if does not release the e-mails.
While agreeing with the attorney general's decision to order Adkisson's correspondence be made public, County Judge Nelson Wolff said he would not bar Adkisson from the vote Monday.
Wolff said an attorney for county commissioners said it was unclear if Adkisson had the right to vote, and he agreed with the court's attorney that Adkisson's vote could be challenged legally.
Adkisson said he was no more concerned about the public perception of his voting in a matter involving him "than the Express-News should be concerned about the public perception of this continuous assault on me."
Commissioner Kevin Wolff does not support Adkisson's proposed lawsuit. Wolff says he does not want the county's name attached to anything that even gives the perception of being "anti-open government."
"This has nothing to do with whether you're for or against open government," said Elizondo. "It's for clarity."
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