Regent Hall case sent to county prosecutors

Madlin Mekelburg

Allegations that UT System Regent Wallace Hall mishandled private student information and potentially violated state privacy laws have been referred to Travis County prosecutors, according to reports from the Austin American-Statesman. 

These allegations were presented in the final report from the House Select Committee on Transparency in State Agency Operations. 

According to the Statesman, the referral was made by Rod Welsh, the House sergeant-at-arms, in a letter to District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg and County Attorney David Escamilla, dated Friday. A letter from the co-chairs of the transparency committee, included in Welsh’s letter, said the referral was necessary based on the findings of the committee’s investigation.

The report, compiled by Rusty Hardin, special counsel to the committee, indicated Hall likely committed impeachable offenses throughout his time as a regent.

The committee is investigating Hall for potentially overstepping his duties as a regent and conducting what some legislators have called a “witch hunt” against President William Powers Jr. 

At a committee hearing in November, Francie Frederick, general counsel to the Board of Regents, said regents can have access to information protected by the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act if they have a job-related reason to do so. Frederick said Hall gained access to a chain of emails with protected information he should not have been allowed to see.