UT Regent Wallace Hall has outstepped his authority - enough so to warrant impeachment.
That is what the House Select Committee on Transparency in State Agency Operations said in a 7-1 vote Monday. The committee stopped short of drafting articles of impeachment, and instead suggested that the UT System Board of Regents address the issue at their next meeting.
The House Committee expressed their displeasure with Hall, who has been accused of abusing his power during a personal investigation into operations at UT-Austin. He specifically has been accused of mishandling private student information, demanding an outlandish amount of University records as well as pressuring committee witnesses.
The Committee didn't recommend a specific action, but several are at their disposal. They could send articles of impeachment against Hall to the full Texas House. Or they could push for a vote of "no confidence" in Hall, calling for his resignation.
State Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer, D-San Antonio sent a public memo to the Board of Regents when he said,
"I would strongly urge and encourage the UT System to resolve this issue, working closely with the University of Texas, to come to some kind of closure before this committee takes a step further."
Hall, who did not appear before the Committee during the hearing process, fired back with a statement of his own.
"When a Board encounters problems, coverup, and intransigence at a taxpayer-funded institution, is the proper response to hold those who are responsible accountable, or to impeach the board member?"
He went on.
"My efforts as a regent are to serve the interests of our gret educational institutions, the students, faculty, and staff who make them great, and the taxpayers who fund them, not to appease a privileged class who abuse them."
The Board of Regents are schedule to meet this Wednesday and Thursday in Austin. The House Committee will next meet on May 21st.