PEC Truthwatch has obtained two videos shot at the PEC meeting on Tuesday, August 18 by independent videographer/producer Tom Roudebush. Roudebush has been a fixture at PEC board meetings for two years and is presumed to be paid by Mr. Altgelt. It has been his practice to sit in the audience and videotape meetings as well as other interactions among members.
The two videos are linked here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1HNQ8t9_Wcg&feature=youtu.be
Having now watched Tom Roudebush’s video of the meeting, covering the parts that were blacked out by PEC, I can say with certainty that, contrary to Judge Oakley’s assertion in his comment on this blog, Ernest never attacked “a sitting Director” (Emily Pataki or Judge Oakley) or a “sitting District Judge” (Judge Evan Stubbs).
Ernest got only the following out of his mouth before Judge Oakley interrupted him and ordered the audio and video feeds cut: “Ms. Pataki and you were at Burnet County before Judge Stubbs.”
I also noticed that, contrary to his assertion in his posted comment about Ernest’s having launched a “personal attack,” Judge Oakley in the actual meeting resorted to the new rules he had enacted and announced at the beginning of the meeting. He accused Ernest of having strayed from topics on the published agenda.
I’ve dealt with this charge (attempting to address a topic not on the agenda) already, and posted my response on this blog as a comment, making the point that “Legal Matters” was indeed an item on the published agenda.
But I’d question even further, focusing on the advent of this new “guideline” (to use the outside counsel’s term) that speakers must address items on the agenda for a specific meeting. Despite Judge Oakley’s repeated references to PEC’s Decorum Policy, which I downloaded from the PEC web site and reviewed just today, that policy doesn’t require that speakers address specific agenda topics.
Here’s the relevant part:
2. Board of Directors’ Meetings
2.6.Participants shall refrain from disruptive behavior. Distracting, irrelevant or unrelated subject matter, personal or character attacks, speaking out of turn, approaching or standing at the Board meeting dais without the permission of the Presiding Officer, or improperly sidetracking the attention of other Participants are examples of disruptive behavior.
The closest we get here to regulations regarding the content of the speaker’s comments are the examples of “disruptive behavior,” among them “[d]istracting, irrelevant or unrelated subject matter.”
As I’ve pointed out earlier, the lawsuit Perry v. PEC is a legal matter involving secret communications between officials of PEC and LCRA, PEC’s major power supplier. Hardly a matter that is irrelevant, and very much a “legal matter” that would be “related” and included in the agenda item “Legal Matters.”
I think it is clear, now, that Judge Oakley first manufactured (“enacted”) a policy, with the aid of the outside counsel, modifying the existing Board-approved Decorum Policy as they saw fit, and then used that policy to silence Ernest, acting on his assumption that Ernest was going to make remarks critical of the Board’s handling of Director Perry’s request for access to the communications he wants to examine.
Regards to all, and enjoy Tom’s video.
UPDATE: Additional comments have been submitted via email distribution since this post. One if from member Carlos Higgins–in its entirety below: