University of Texas System Regent Wallace Hall, facing possible impeachment from the Texas Legislature, has formally indicated that he is ready to go to the mat over his standing on the UT System Board of Regents.
The Texas Tribune has obtained a letter sent to the co-chairs of the House Select Committee on Transparency in State Agency Operations from Hall's lawyer, and it clearly indicates he is willing to take the legislators head on.
In the letter, Hall's lawyer, Steve Ryan, states that Hall has been leading the investigation of UT-Austin and its President William Powers because Hall is deeply concerned about reports of influence of politicians on the admissions process, as well as an investigation of questionable compensation practices at the University of Texas School of Law when Powers headed the school.
Ryan also says that Hall's investigative work has led directly to a formal inquiry by the UT System Office of General Council into an incident where a state senator allegedly sought, and received special treatment for a graduate school applicant who had already been rejected.
Ryan also asks for a "full and fair" investigation by granting Hall the right to call his own witnesses, with subpoena power, as well as cross-examine committee witnesses.
The tone and timing of the letter indicates that the upcoming UT-System Board of Regents meeting could contain fireworks.
The meeting, set for August 21st & 22nd, usually includes a review of the job performances of the system's universities presidents and the battle lines over UT-Austin President William Powers and his interaction with several Regents are clearly drawn.