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Interim Dallas Mayor Sues To Block Open Records Requests

By Bud Gillett, CBS 11 News
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Dwaine Caraway

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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Interim Mayor Dwaine Caraway is staying mum about his lawsuit against state Attorney Gen. Greg Abbot that aims to block the release of some potentially embarrassing information related to a police call to his home earlier this year.

On Monday, the typically approachable and outspoken Caraway was in no mood to talk.

“That’s in the lawyer’s hands now,” he said of the lawsuit.

Just last week, his wife, state legislator Barabara Mallory-Caraway (D – Dallas), was firmly behind him at his first official City Hall meeting as mayor since Tom Leppert resigned to run for the U.S. Senate.

But police were called to their home in some sort of an apparent domestic incident in January. Caraway went directly to DPD Chief David Brown and asked for him to handle the call.

As such, Caraway avoided the 911 emergency system all together, so no record of what happened is in the public domain. Not even a police report.

CBS 11 and five other area news outlets asked the Texas Attorney General to force the city to release the information under the open records law. Abbott agreed.

On Friday, Caraway sued to block the AG’s opinion, citing “the common law right to privacy.” It further claims the U.S. Constitution “protects individual privacy rights of an individual in avoiding the disclosure of personal matters to the public.”

However, it makes no mention that Caraway is a public figure and an elected official. Councilman Tennell Atkins defended the interim mayor, saying he is just exercising his freedom of speech.

“It’s a personal issues and that’s his right,” Atkins said. “Whatever he wants to do, that’s his right to do it.”

When asked if it was affecting the council’s or the mayor’s performance in any way, Atkins said “I’m not looking at that, I’m just looking at that’s a personal issue.”

Abbott’s office has not been served and has no comment on the suit. If Caraway’s appeal is allowed to stand, it could be tied up in civil court for months, long after a new mayor is elected and installed in June at Dallas City Hall.

While he is not running for mayor in the council elections in May, Caraway has filed for reelection to his current council seat.

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