Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton Sues City of San Antonio, Amping Up the Rhetoric Over Chick-fil-A

Posted By on Tue, Jun 4, 2019 at 10:31 AM

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton - COURTESY
  • Courtesy
  • Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has sued San Antonio as part of his probe into the city's decision not to include Chick-fil-A in an airport concessions contract.

His suit, filed Monday, seeks a court order forcing the city to cough up internal communications in which council members and staffers discussed the contract.

Paxton, like other right-wing political figures, has criticized the city's decision not to allow Chick-fil-A in as an airport vendor as a case of religious discrimination. Mayoral candidate Greg Brockhouse has also used the issue as a cudgel to swing at incumbent Mayor Ron Nirenberg.

Council voted 6-4 in late March not to allow the fast-food chain into the airport after District 1 Councilman Roberto Trevino cited its “legacy of anti-LGBTQ behavior,” including donations to groups opposed to gay marriage.

Paxton announced his investigation days after the vote. He also requested the Federal Aviation Administration look into the matter.

“The City of San Antonio claims that it can hide documents because it anticipates being sued,” Paxton said in a news release announcing his lawsuit. "The city’s extreme position only highlights its fear about allowing any sunshine on the religious bigotry that animated its decision.”

In written statement, Nirenberg said the city responded to Paxton's request for documents and sought clarification, which the AG never provided.

"The fact that he went straight to filing a lawsuit instead of simply answering our questions proves this is all staged political theater," Nirenberg said.

City officials already provided 250 pages of documents to the AG's Open Records Division and were awaiting an opinion on whether the information was releasable since Paxton's probe was already underway, City Attorney Andy Segovia said.

“Instead of allowing the routine process take its course, the AG decided to sue and not wait for a decision from his own department,” Segovia added in a written statement. “The Attorney General notified the press before any communication with the city, or even before the city was served with the suit.”

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