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AUSTIN (KXAN) — Council Member Mackenzie Kelly is asking the Texas attorney general’s office to reconsider a ruling that could give the Austin Office of Police Oversight more access to police files, according to a letter obtained by KXAN through a public information request.
“The opinion in question, dated September 18, 2023, could have significant impact on the operational capacity of the Austin Police Department (APD) as it related to publicly disclosed information related to APD’s personnel G-File,” the council member wrote.
“The security of the G-File is a necessary component to operate an efficient modern municipal police department,” she continued.
The original ruling from the Attorney General’s Office came tied to a public information request for the contents of an officer’s personnel file. The ruling allowed for information, which previously could not be released under state law, to be released in the specific case at hand.
The ruling was being looked at by City staff and by Austin City Council, who discussed the item during a city council meeting last week.
“More clarity needs to be obtained,” Mayor Kirk Watson said. “I anticipate council will bring back another resolution very soon once we have clarity on that AG opinion that will allow the City to do more than what was originally anticipated.”
The root of this back and forth goes to the battle at the ballot box between two petitions titled “Austin Police Oversight Act.” You can read more about the original ruling and how we got here in KXAN’s previous report.