House transparency committee hearing canceled

Madlin Mekelburg

The house transparency committee investigating the actions of UT System Regent Wallace Hall canceled a hearing scheduled for Wednesday.

The House Select Committee on Transparency in State Agency Operations will still have its scheduled hearing Thursday at 1 p.m.

The transparency committee has been investigating Hall since July 2013 for potentially overstepping his duties as a regent. Some state legislators have accused Hall of overstepping his duties as a regent and conducting a “witch-hunt” to oust President William Powers Jr. According to testimony at a committee hearing in October, Hall filed open records requests for more than 800,000 pages of information from UT.

The final report from the special counsel to the committee indicates Hall likely committed impeachable offenses during his time as regent. The report states Hall manipulated the house investigation and coerced witnesses. The report also alleges Hall mishandled private student information and potentially violated state privacy laws. These claims have been referred to Travis County prosecutors.

According to a Texas Ethics Commission report, originally obtained by the Texas Tribune on Tuesday, State Rep. Charles Perry, a member of the transparency committee, received $2,500 in campaign contributions in December from Accountability First — a political action committee Hall has supported financially in the past.

On Monday, 17 college councils at UT signed a letter asking Hall to resign from his position as regent.