Watchdog

Smith County judge charged, suspended

TYLER — Smith County Judge Joel Baker was booked into the Smith County jail July 17 on a misdemeanor charge of violating the Texas Open Meetings Act.

Smith County Sheriff Larry Smith said Baker turned himself in after 5 p.m. and was released by 6 p.m. Friday.

Baker is charged with three counts of violating the Texas Open Meetings Act, a misdemeanor.

A warrant was issued Thursday by a Smith County grand jury out of the 114th District Court, Smith said. Baker's bond was set at the maximum of $2,000.

Montgomery County officials indicted

A grand jury has indicted Montgomery County Judge Craig Doyal and two commissioners, charging them with violating Texas' open meetings law last year while developing a bond package for new and improved roads.

Traffic-weary voters in the rapidly growing county approved the $280 million financing proposal, but the indictments left Doyal and Commissioners Jim Clark and Charlie Riley to face criminal charges for their actions in getting it on the ballot.

Prosecutor will extend or restart grand jury process for TOMA investigation - Your Houston News

Six months after launching an investigation into whether some members of Montgomery County Commissioners Court violated the Texas Open Meetings Act, the Houston-based special prosecutor assigned to the case is weighing his options as the grand jury cycle comes to a close Thursday.

Source: Prosecutor will extend or restart grand jury process for TOMA investigation - Your Houston News: News

Ten Commandments for Open Meetings |

Consider the following list our Fourth Estate counsel to county commissions, city councils, and school boards everywhere on executive sessions and general government openness. Citizens should hold their elected officials to the standards below. These are Ten Commandments for Open Meetings:

ONE: Do not gather as a quorum outside of regular meetings, and do not hold special meetings without giving at least 24 hours public notice.