House Committee Begins Last Round of Hearings in UT Regent Investigation
The Texas House Select Committee on Transparency in State Agency Operations wraps up its investigation this week that could lead to the impeachment of UT Regent Wallace Hall.
University of Texas President William Powers Jr. and UT System Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa will testify in hearings today and Thursday. Hall is not expected to testify this week.
Hall came under suspicion when he requested an estimated 800,000 pages of information in open records requests from the UT System. Although the committee doesn't need to find Hall guilty of any one crime to recommend impeachment, they will determine whether Hall's requests qualify as an abuse of power. The group is also tasked with investigating whether Hall shared private student information as a regent and failed to disclose of his existing lawsuits when he was appointed to the board in 2011.
Last week, the UT Board of Regents discussed UT Austin President Bill Powers' employment in executive session, but afterwards, the Chancellor recommended Powers remain president of the flagship university. It's a move that some are hoping will begin to thaw the ice between UT Austin leadership and the Regents.
If the committee recommends impeachment, their recommendation will then be sent to the Texas House. If the House also passes the move, the Texas Senate will then begin an impeachment trial against Hall that could lead to his removal from office.
Only two other public officials have ever been impeached in Texas history.