Analysis of AG Opinion H-496 (1975)
Regarding the Texas Open Meetings Act
by Donald Ray Burger
Attorney at Law
This AG Opinion sets limits on what may be discussed during permitted closed sessions under Section 2(g) of article 6252-17 (now at Section 551.074 of the Government Code). Although former Section 2(g) allows closed sessions in cases involving the appointment, employment, evaluation, reassignment, duties, discipline or dismissal of public officers or employees, this decision narrows the permissible subjects that may be discussed during such closed sessions. The Opinion holds that although the salary of an individual employee may be discussed, the salaries of a class of employees may not be discussed. This holding is in keeping with the limited purpose of such closed sessions. They are not designed for general discussions, but are restricted to specific matters related to sepcific employees. The distinction between discussion of a particular employee's salary and the discussion of salaries in general illustrates the danger of such closed sessions and the likelihood of violation of the TOMA during such sessions.
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