BREAKING NEWS: Hashmi accuses mayor of violating open meetings law, threatens to go to AG

Mayor AJ Hashmi

Councilman AJ Hashmi

At Monday’s meeting, Paris City Councilman A.J. Hashmi accused Mayor Matt Frierson of violating Texas open meetings laws by having a telephone conversation with the investigator looking into PEDC that included Mayor Pro-Tem Richard Grossnickle, City Manager John Godwin and City Attorney Kent McIlyar.

The phone call took place June 11 with investigator Danny Defenbaugh of Defenbaugh & Associates. Although the phone call only included two members of the council — generally not enough to be considered a quorum and therefore not subject to state legal requirements for public notification — Hashmi said the mayor had created a “walking quorum.”

McIlyar disagreed with Hashmi. When the councilman tried to read from the state law, Frierson said a motion to offer direction to Defenbaugh was on the floor and it was not the time to continue the conversation. Hashmi responded by saying he would go to the attorney general with an accusation of an open meetings violation and a complaint against the city attorney.

“I don’t have a comment on that,” McIlyar said after the meeting.

Watch eParis Extra for more information.

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About the Author
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Jeff Parish Jeff Parish is a high school English teacher and journalist. He has worked for the Greenville Herald-Banner, Dallas Morning News, The Paris News and Galveston County Daily News, among others. For comments, feedback or suggestions, you can email him at jeff@eparistexas.com.