RNC Bid Aftermath: Brockhouse Urges Probe into Legality of Closed-Door Meeting

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Councilman Greg Brockhouse (D6)

Bonnie Arbittier / Rivard Report

Councilman Greg Brockhouse (D6)

San Antonio City Councilman Greg Brockhouse (D6) asked the Bexar County District Attorney’s Office Tuesday to investigate whether a closed-session discussion about whether the City should bid to host the 2020 Republican National Convention violated the Texas Open Meetings Act.

“It is my opinion there were clear violations within the discussions that warrant investigation,” Brockhouse wrote in a letter sent to District Attorney Nico LaHood on Tuesday. “However, as the violations were committed in the confines of the closed session, I am prohibited from disclosing the facts, unless compelled to do so through investigation.”

“[The meeting is the] latest and most blatant example which threatens the very fabric of open government,” he wrote.

Standing in front of an assembly of reporters Thursday, May 3, San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg announced the city would not submit a bid to host the GOP convention, when the party’s presidential nominee is selected.

That announcement came after City Council’s executive session, during which Council members privately discussed the financial and logistical considerations that would come with hosting the 2020 Republican National Convention.

“City Council’s conversation about the Republican National Convention was conducted in the standard manner for economic development and other matters that are covered by the exceptions in the Open Meetings Act,” Nirenberg wrote in a statement Tuesday. “We conducted the meeting as advised by legal counsel, who was present. We are confident that the discussion was compliant with state law.”

The day before the meeting, Brockhouse requested an opinion from City Attorney Andrew Segovia, who sent a memo to Council explaining that the item met the legal requirements for a closed executive session. That memo was sealed under attorney-client privilege. Per state law, open meeting exceptions include litigation or a settlement offer, deliberating personnel matters, deliberating the purchase or lease of property, discussing certain financial contract negotiations, or discussing deployment of security devices.

It is unclear whether the financial contract negotiations exception can be used when no genuine contract exists or will be drafted.

“We received [Brockhouse’s] request and will reserve comment for now,” a LaHood spokesperson told the Rivard Report.

In the letter, Segovia also told the full Council that members could not discuss the political pros and cons of a convention bid during executive session, Brockhouse has said.

Some in the local business community – including two chambers, leaders in the local tourism and hotel industries, as well as prominent CEOs – have chided Council for passing up an economic development opportunity for what they perceive as largely political reasons. Several members of Council have cited their disagreement with the policies of President Donald Trump as cause for not supporting a bid.

The San Antonio Chamber of Commerce and San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, two of the more influential local chambers, chose to stay out of the debate.

Brockhouse’s letter, with Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and the Texas Rangers copied, called for a sweeping review of the Council’s closed-session policies.

“This is not an isolated issue and it is my opinion, a thorough review of the practices of the closed session policies of the San Antonio City Council will lead to greater transparency and protecting the public’s right to participate in their governance,” he wrote.

On Wednesday afternoon, Councilman Manny Pelaez (D8) condemned Brockhouse’s letter and cited the District 6 representative’s intentions of running for mayor.

“I’m taken aback and disappointed by Councilman Brockhouse’s lamentable attacks and the casting of ugly aspersions on the work this City Council does to gather information and discuss matters allowed under the Texas Open Meetings Act,” Pelaez wrote in a statement. “His accusation that we committed criminal violations of Texas law makes for exciting red-meat politics to help bolster his aspirations to higher office.

“However, if getting accused of a crime is what we get from meeting with Councilman Brockhouse, why in the world would we want to meet with him for anything else going forward? In my view, playing fast and loose with referrals to criminal prosecutors and law enforcement to score points is cheap and it’s what people hate about modern-day populist politics.”

 

Reporter Jeffrey Sullivan contributed to this article.

 

38 thoughts on “RNC Bid Aftermath: Brockhouse Urges Probe into Legality of Closed-Door Meeting

  1. Nice try Brockhouse – he does whatever it takes to keep his name in the papers. About as effective as a broom at a mudslide.

    • Mr. Brockhouse is the kind of leader we need. If he says they are criminals then they are criminals for sure! MAGA!

        • Oops. Sorry. My mistake. Disregard. I really DID send this message. I meant to post this somewhere else. I’m in Brockhouses’ corner and we needs to send all the bastards at city hall to prison. Did you know that Carlos Uresti and NOT Cheryl Skully is the mastermind of the RICO-like conspiracy? Also, Susan Pamerleau is the crooked one that has been helping hide all of the facts of this case. Ethical Judge Arteaga and honorable congressman Joquain Castro and Greg. Brock house will prosecute Uresti and Pamerleau and will send them to jail. I guarantee it.

  2. Brockhouse is a showboat, an obstructionist, and all about himself. He is not a team player, and as Will said, he is all about media exposure. It is so blatant that he has started his campaign for Mayor. I say his 15 minutes are up.
    Greg, sit down and shut up.

    • About tnat team player comment – If Nirenberg tells the council to jump in a fire and burn, do you think they should be team players?

    • About that team player comment – if Nirenberg advises council to jump in a fire and burn, do you think they should do it so they can be team playdrs?

  3. For the record, Mr Brockhouse … you are the best thing that has entered our “great” City council chambers since Jack M Finger. We need more non politically driven and not afraid to speak out people like you and Mr Finger. Maybe you can help turn this corrupt City around. We are currently heading down a road just like the corrupt Crystal City! Thank you.

      • I read it that she was speaking about Jack M Finger who likes to expose the City Council of items, that uhmm the kind of forgot. I never got the feeling he was anything but a moderate seeking balance, honesty and transparency.
        I am a moderate and fairly new to SA and find that Brockhouse and Perry attempt to add some semblance of balance to a very one-sided council.
        I for one applaud their efforts and wish them the best.
        Mr. Brockhouse is a Republican and Mr. Perry a Democrat. Seems fairly equally weighted to me for the only fighters we have.

  4. It would be very helpful for those who have commented about the corrupt City, to identify, for we readers, some of the issues they are aware of.

    • Not corruption, but the council with approval of counsel enacts income raising measures disguised as user fees. I raised this with a member of the council. His response, sue us.

  5. Greg Brockhouse “non politically driven”???? Are you really that naive and ignorant?
    And explain the comment “corrupt city” – provide three examples or retract it.

    • If you are so informed and I am so naïve and ignorant, why would I have to provide three examples – you already know them! Have you ever been to a CC meeting or how bout this – do you know who Jack M Finger even is or how to get information happening in the City?

  6. And I’m STILL waiting for one of you so-aware-of-all-the-issues-and-ramifactions-of-hosting-the-RNC-(or DNC) types to comment on the six-week (at least) required closing of the Convention Center prior to any such political party convention. Uh, wouldn’t that put a little dent in SA’s convention/hospitality business?

  7. The majority of San Antonio citizens don’t want the belligerent right wing, white supremacist spectacle of the current Republican Party disrupting our city, period. The Mayor of Dallas didn’t want the NRA convention either. Let these agitators go where they’re welcome. There are HUNDREDS of less obstreperous conventions we can welcome to our city and still make tons of $$$ – the GOP ain’t one of them.

    • Dear Sir,
      I believe you miss the point entirely. It is the fact that your comments equal the fervour that you find so offensive about the Republican and the NRA. I support neither but can at least hear them out and offer them the same rights I wish to have.
      The beauty of freedom of speech is we can ALL have our say. I do believe respect is always the gracious thing to do. I have to hold my nose and vote very often. As it is my right and duty to vote. I respectfully fulfill my duty. The same with listening to both side, yes I want to gag, as I am sure you do. BUT please no name calling and have some respect for their view.

      • Hate speach isn’t gracious. There are not 2 sides to every story. Sometimes one side is wrong.

        It is important to let everyone have a say, pay attention to what is said and done, and think about what it means.

        The GOP have already shown that their convention would not benefit san antonio, so why should citizens spend any money bidding in a race to the bottom or supporting the bad PR? The mayor and council showed good leadership by representing the best interests of the city.

    • I never heard the Mayor did not want it. Some people on the council voiced objections. As for objecting to right wing belligerents, I guess we should return the three prisoners to North Korea, fire blacks and Hispanics so their unemployment rate, rather than being at historic lows, will rise to levels that make Democrats comfortable, reenact the 30,000 regulations wiped off the books so that in place of a robust economy it would sputter along as Obama declared the new norm, etc.

  8. Before we hear Robert Swartz tell us again how the Dallas NRA convention went off with only hundreds of protestors essentially unnoticed by the press, just think about what a field day the press would have with the potential response of certain SA people to the presence of DNC here? Open-carry parades a la Olmos Park? Gee, wouldn’t that make SA attractive to the country/world?

    • I did not say they were unnoticed by the press. By all accounts, the press was there in large numbers. They could not foment a riot, as is their wont, so there was little coverage, I presume. As I don’t watch TV news hard for me to judge.

  9. I submit that “non politically driven” is not a suitable phrase to describe anyone involved in San Antonio/Bexar politics. And I believe that “showboating” is appropriate to describe Councilman Brockhouse’s actions, regardless of any grain of truth.

  10. Once again Brockhouse is grandstanding to keep his name in the paper. He was already TOLD “The day before the meeting, Brockhouse requested an opinion from City Attorney Andrew Segovia, who sent a memo to Council explaining that the item met the legal requirements for a closed executive session. That memo was sealed under attorney-client privilege. Per state law, open meeting exceptions include litigation or a settlement offer, deliberating personnel matters, deliberating the purchase or lease of property, discussing certain financial contract negotiations, or discussing deployment of security devices.” Perhaps Brockhouse should be investigated for revealing what was in a sealed envelop for his eyes only?
    It would be a better use of taxpayer’s money for Brockhouse to set up a wooden milk crate and yell in front of the Alamo on his time OFF.

  11. Love that Brockhouse copied the Atty General that should be in prison for his alleged ethics and securities fraud charges. Nice add.

  12. Let it go Brockhouse! Can’t you understand the majority of the city didn’t want that orange colored (Cheeto) in our city? What were you going to get out of it anyways ??? Just get over it and stop campaigning will you !!!

    • We should put up every convention to a vote. Only in that fashion will we ensure that the wrong kind of people are kept out so the precious citizenry is not offended.

      Later this month the Fuel and Petrochemical group will be here. Total fossil fuel stuff. What would Nye say? I’m outraged. Why is Nirenberg stopping this?

  13. Perhaps we could underwrite the convention being held in Laredo. In between sessions of the convention, delegates could go build the wall.

  14. The mayor is doing a great job.

    This is a total goose chase !

    Let’s please focus on our city ,,,not which convention we did not pursue.

    How about the closure of Alamo and the the impact to our streets as great places?

    The states TAKING of our plaza in the name of the state and for future tourists is a disgrace ….

    On this point the city is far too silent .

  15. The Rivard Report and councilman Brockhouse will definitely be running for mayor in the next election. I know who they are going to support. I knew that three days without a Brockhouse mention was too much for the RivardReport to take. 🙂

  16. If nothing nefarious happened, let the DA investigate. Just like everyone should allow the Mueller investigation to proceed to prove Trump’s innocence.

    • Since when do you have to prove innocence? I thought it was incumbent upon the state to prove guilt. Maybe I missed that part in civics and law school.

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