Candidates clash on City's decision to sue Texas on SB 4

Concerns are growing over a lawsuit filed by the City of San Antonio against the state of Texas.

SAN ANTONIO - Concerns are growing over a lawsuit filed by the City of San Antonio against the state of Texas.

The suit, funded by the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund or MALDEF, is a formal protest against SB 4.

SB 4 is the new law that allows officers to question whether you're a US citizen, among other things.

The decision to sue the state was made during an executive session where city council met privately, then came out moving forward with a lawsuit targeting state leaders.

Last week's decision was not open to the public.

"There certainly was an urgency from some of the council members to move forward which kind of impacted the ability to do that,"  Mayor Ivy Taylor, who wanted to delay action until after the legislative session, said.

In a debate Monday at Texas Public Radio, Councilman Nirenberg stood by his decision to support the suit, while Mayor Taylor voiced her reasons for hesitating.

Nirenberg defends the process.

"There was no vote taken, no hands were raised. Council members spoke on both sides of the issue and gave direction to the city attorney,"  Nirenberg said.

A vote behind closed doors could be illegal and violate the Texas Open Meetings Act.

The city says the council can legally discuss litigation in private.

"The council is acting in consistency with what has occurred before," Nirenberg said.

He pointed to past decisions to sue the city's police and fire unions were made the same way as this lawsuit.

Both Nirenberg and Taylor say they welcome public discussion and scrutiny and say there's nothing to hide.

Councilman Joe Krier told KENS 5 he plans to go before the Charter Review Committee this week to see if the charter needs to be changed to ensure a public vote happens every time before the city sues another government agency.

 

© 2017 KENS-TV


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