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House Committee Begins Impeachment of UT Regent

Updated: Monday, May 12 2014, 05:50 PM CDT

A historic moment today. For the first time, a Texas House committee voted to begin impeachment of an appointed official. Impeachment is normally reserved for elected officials.

At issue in this case is whether University of Texas Regent Wallace Hall abused his office and mishandled private student information in his quest to oust UT President Bill Powers.  

Members of the House Select Committee on Transparency in State Agency Operations say the regents should have addressed this matter themselves. Panel co-chair Carol Alvarado says, "They've all been aware of his behavior and for whatever reason haven't done anything about it."

The panel voted 7-1 to begin impeachment proceedings. The lone "no vote" is more a reflection on the process.  

State Representative Charles Perry says, "I think the process we were acting on was new. It was learn as you go at some level. It ultimately became a block or a barrier to hearing all sides."  

But co-chair Dan Flynn says Hall gummed up the works, too, adding, "Regent Hall and his lawyers attempted to disrupt this committee's efforts by failing to supply supporting documents and evidence to defend his actions."

What happened today is only the first step in the process. They voted that grounds do exist for impeachment of Regent Wallace Hall. The next step of the process begins next week. That's when this panel will begin work on specific articles of impeachment.

(Photo from the University of Texas.)

By Fred Cantu

House Committee Begins Impeachment of UT Regent

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