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John Cornyn
  Health Department

June 28, 1999

Ms. Linda Wiegman
Supervising Attorney
Department of Health
1100 West 49th Street
Austin, Texas 78756-3199


Dear Ms. Wiegman:

You have asked whether certain information is subject to required public disclosure under the Open Records Act, chapter 552 of the Government Code. Your request was assigned ID# 127149.

The Department of Health (the "department") received a request for information concerning "all complaints and related documentation filed against" a named individual. You assert that the requested documents are excepted from disclosure under section 552.108 of the Government Code. Section 552.108(a)(1) provides an exception from disclosure for information that is held by a law enforcement agency or prosecutor and that deals with the detection, investigation, or prosecution of crime, when release of such information would interfere with the detection, investigation, or prosecution of crime. This section may be invoked by the proper custodian of information relating to an ongoing investigation or prosecution of criminal conduct. It is applicable even if the custodian is not a law enforcement agency if the investigation may lead to the filing of criminal charges. Open Records Decision No. 474 at 4-5 (1987).

Based upon your arguments and the information provided, including a letter from the Houston Police Department asking that this information not be released, we agree that you have shown the applicability of section 552.108(a)(1). The information may thus be withheld from disclosure.

We are resolving this matter with this informal letter ruling rather than with a published open records decision. This ruling is limited to the particular records at issue under the facts presented to us in this request and may not be relied upon as a previous determination regarding any other records. If you have questions about this ruling, please contact our office.


Ruth H. Soucy
Assistant Attorney General
Open Records Division


Ref.: ID# 127149

Encl. Submitted documents

cc: Ms. Deborah January-Bevers
Law Office of Wilbur H. Dunten
Dickinson Plaza Shopping Center
3515 Gulf Freeway at FM 517
P.O. Box 1271
Dickinson, Texas 77539
(w/o enclosures)


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