- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Texas Gov. Rick Perry is backing University of Texas Regent Wallace Hall Jr. even after a state House panel voted to censure him for misconduct and incompetency.

Mr. Perry, a Republican who appointed Mr. Hall to the Board of Regents, said in a statement Monday that Mr. Hall “has acted how I expect all appointees to act — in the best interest of Texas.”

“He has rightly asked tough questions and held people accountable for their actions, even in the face of withering personal attacks,” Mr. Perry said. “I hope today closes this ugly chapter and Regent Hall’s critics can stop wasting time and start focusing on what’s important, ensuring higher education is affordable, accessible and accountable to all Texans.”

The panel issued a 28-page “admonishment and censure” saying Mr. Hall fell short of the standards expected of someone on the Board of Regents.

Mr. Hall’s critics had accused him of making repeated information requests to try to dig up reasons to oust UT-Austin President Bill Powers, but Mr. Hall’s supporters say he was raising legitimate questions about governance and fundraising at the campus. Mr. Powers has said he will step down in June 2015.

The panel voted 6-1 to approve the motion of admonishment and censure, but decided not to impeach Mr. Hall. Committee members said they could later vote to draft articles of impeachment against Mr. Hall.

“The committee’s findings are based on distortions, untruths, and intentional misrepresentations,” Mr. Hall said in a statement. “Speaker [Joe] Straus and his committee have abused the public’s trust and money to cover up their improper interference in System operations, including to defend a university president who was repeatedly asked to leave.”