Texas rep targets confidential public settlements

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Associated Press

Posted on February 25, 2013 at 12:32 PM

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — A Fort Worth state representative wants to ban confidentiality agreements in legal settlements involving a public official or taxpayer money.

State Rep. Lon Burnam's proposal comes weeks after a former prosecutor's sexual harassment allegations against Tarrant County District Attorney Joe Shannon came to light. The county settled with the prosecutor for $375,000. It didn't release details until Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott's office ordered it to do so.

Burnam's bill would instruct officials not to require confidentiality on settlement amounts or allegations against a state or local official. He tells the Fort Worth Star-Telegram (http://bit.ly/YtRMj5) that he wants "to correct a wrong that has been going on for a long time."

Shannon's spokeswoman says he hasn't read the bill but supports its concept.

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Information from: Fort Worth Star-Telegram, http://www.star-telegram.com

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