And honestly, that’s about all we know.
State Rep. Bryan Slaton, the Royse City Republican accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a staffer, declined Thursday to discuss his attendance at a closed-door hearing of a House investigative panel that has been looking into the matter.
Slaton did not answer questions from reporters as he left the room where a due-process hearing was taking place. He was absent from the House floor as the investigative panel was meeting in a separate part of the Capitol.
The committee has kept its investigation under wraps, declining to name the lawmaker being investigated and referring to the investigation only as “Matter B” in public hearings. The committee was also believed to be looking into allegations of an “abusive and hostile” work environment by state Rep. Jolanda Jones, D-Houston.
The committee had scheduled the due-process hearing for 2 p.m. Around 1:30 p.m., lawmakers on the House floor announced a separate meeting of the committee in a different room at 1:45 p.m., when members voted unanimously to issue a subpoena in “Matter B” directing a man “to provide all relevant testimony and information concerning the committee’s inquiry” and to authorize the issuing of “one or more subpoenas for a part or portion of any relevant testimony or information as necessary to avoid overburdening a witness or the committee.”
The Tribune has not confirmed the identity of the man subpoenaed.
The committee also voted to authorize a sergeant-at-arms or an agent to issue the subpoena on behalf of the committee.
As the committee wrapped up that meeting, Slaton entered a nearby room, where the second committee hearing would take place, through a back entrance.
The committee members then walked across the hall for their 2 p.m. due-process hearing and almost immediately went into executive session, ordering members of the public to leave. About an hour later, Slaton was seen exiting the room through the same door he’d entered.
Around 4 p.m., the committee adjourned without making any decisions. State Rep. Andrew Murr, a Republican from Junction who leads the committee, declined comment on Slaton’s involvement in the hearing.
See here for the previous update. One might infer that the committee demonstrated more interest in Rep. Slaton than in Rep. Jones, but it may just be a reflection of the nature of the evidence or the progress of the investigations so far. It’s laudable that the committee has been able to maintain discretion so far, but it’s also frustrating. I have to assume that eventually we’ll find out more.