A Harris County grand jury Tuesday indicted all six people who served on the City of Pasadena’s economic development board when they met privately in 2016 in violation of the Texas Open Meetings Act.
“The spirit of the law requiring open meetings is transparency in government,” Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said. “Intentional failure to notify taxpayers about meetings where their tax dollars are at stake is a crime because it destroys the public’s trust in their government to operate openly.”
Under Texas law, when a majority of the members of a governmental board get together _ either in person or electronically _ to discuss official business, the gathering must be held publicly, and an agenda must be published at least 72 hours in advance.
On November 28, 2016, members of the Pasadena Second Century Corp. allegedly met unannounced in small groups to discuss design options which could have impacted the cost of remodeling Pasadena’s convention center and rodeo arena.
Those charged include: President Roy Mease; Vice President Ernesto Paredes; Treasurer Brad Hance; Secretary Jackie Welch, Board Member Jim Harris and Board Member Emilio Carmona.
The special misdemeanor charge carries a fine of $100 to $500; and the possibility of jail time from one month to six months behind bars.