Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a petition on Monday suing San Antonio to obtain records after the city council banned Chick-fil-A from the San Antonio International Airport over “anti-LGBTQ behavior.”
“The City of San Antonio claims that it can hide documents because it anticipates being sued,” Paxton said in a statement. “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,” he continued “The city’s extreme position only highlights its fear about allowing any sunshine on the religious bigotry that animated its decision.”
Paxton revealed 0n March 28 that the Office of the Attorney General would be launching an investigation into whether the San Antonio City Council violates state law by prohibiting the fast-food chain from leasing space in the airport.
The city council passed a motion on March 21 to approve the Food, Beverage and Retail Prime Concession Agreement with Paradies Lagardère for the airport with the condition that Chick-fil-A be excluded from the agreement.
The prohibition came after a report noted that in 2017, Chick-fil-A donated nearly $2 million to the Salvation Army, Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Paul Anderson Youth Home. The report asserted that the three charities were discriminatory against LGBTQ individuals.
Paxton also penned a letter to Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao urging for a federal probe to be opened. Days later, the Transportation Department announced that after receiving complaints “alleging discrimination by two airport operators against a private company due to the expression of the owner’s religious beliefs” the FAA’s Office of Civil Rights will investigate both the San Antonio International Airport (SAT) and Buffalo Niagara International Airport (BUF).
The Department of Transportation’s investigation is currently ongoing.
The San Antonio City Council released a statement in response to Paxton’s lawsuit, contending that it had simply followed the law.
“Under the Texas Public Information Act, the City had requested a ruling from the Open Records Division of the AG — a routine request made to the AG’s office daily – as to whether documents related to the Council’s decision on the airport concessions contract were releasable, given that the Attorney General had already announced an investigation,” the statement read. “The City provided nearly 250 pages of documents for review by the Open Records Division and is still waiting for a decision.”
“The Texas Attorney General should allow the Open Records Division to issue a ruling on the City’s request,” the statement continued. “The City will comply with any ruling from the Open Records Division.”
“Instead of allowing the routine process take its course, the AG decided to sue and not wait for a decision from his own department,” City Attorney Andy Segovia added. “The Attorney General notified the press before any communication with the City, or even before the City was served with the suit.”
Paxton’s office did not immediately respond to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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