San Antonio City Attorney refuses to explain leaking allegations

SAN ANTONIO – The San Antonio City Attorney appears eager to put a high-profile fight with nearly half the city council behind him — without answering any questions.

Four weeks to the day after Andy Segovia accused city council members of leaking information out of closed-door “executive sessions,” he refused to answer KSAT’s questions when approached at a Thursday city council meeting. However, it was clear he knew what KSAT wanted to discuss.

“Whatever issues we had were … been resolved. We’re moving forward. That’s all I have to say,” Segovia said before KSAT was able to ask any questions.

Segovia refused to answer further questions before walking off the dais, repeatedly saying, “I’m not going to say anything more.”

Watch the full interaction between Segovia and KSAT below.

Back in early May, Segovia butted heads with a group of five city council members who referred to themselves as the “Bloc of Five”: Councilwoman Melissa Cabello Havrda (D6), Councilman Jalen McKee-Rodriguez (D2), Councilwoman Teri Castillo (D5), Councilwoman Marina Alderete Gavito and Councilman Marc Whyte (D10).

The group tried to force a closed-door council meeting to discuss the ongoing fire contract negotiations. However, they said Segovia tried to block them, despite having previously said executive session was the appropriate venue for those discussions.

The group said it was the latest issue with the city attorney. The next day, May 9, the same council members called for another meeting — this time, to discuss Segovia’s suitability for the job.

Segovia released a statement the same afternoon, accusing council members of leaking information on the fire contract from the confidential executive session discussions.

“As City Attorney, I have an ethical duty to maintain the confidentiality of our executive sessions. Based on information that was relayed to me, I have no confidence that what is said there with respect to the collective bargaining agreement – the City’s second largest contract – will remain confidential.”

San Antonio City Attorney Andy Segovia (May 9)

However, Segovia’s statement did not include whom he suspected, what information had been leaked and what evidence he had of a potential leak.

MOVING THE GOAL POSTS

Before Thursday, KSAT had made multiple requests to speak with Segovia to get answers to those questions. Those requests were rebuffed at least five times.

On May 10, in response to KSAT’s original request to speak to Segovia about his council leak allegations, city spokesman Brian Chasnoff said the city attorney would not provide interviews until after City Manager Erik Walsh had met with council members the following week.

On May 15, the day that discussion was scheduled to happen, Chasnoff said Segovia would not be present at the meeting.

On May 16, during a council meeting at which Segovia was present, Chasnoff said Segovia wouldn’t talk until after he had talked with the council members.

On May 20, Chasnoff said Segovia was out on vacation.

On Tuesday, the spokesman finally said the city would not schedule Segovia for an interview.

A FIGHT FIZZLED OUT?

The “Bloc of Five” ended up getting both meetings they wanted.

Following the council’s May 15 closed-door discussion about Segovia, Walsh told reporters he had “complete confidence” in the city attorney. Walsh said he would have a conversation with Segovia, though he did not view it as punishment.

With Segovia on the dais the next day, the city council retired again into executive session to discuss the fire contract. Walsh indicated it had been his decision to follow through with an executive session instead of discussing the negotiations publicly. It’s not clear how Segovia felt about that decision.

A truce does seem to have been established since the pair of council meetings.

Cabello Havrda had been the most outspoken critic of Segovia and was the only one to definitively say she believed he needed to be replaced.

She has since changed her mind, telling KSAT on Friday that she believes there’s a “path forward” with Segovia still in place at the city.

Read more related San Antonio City Hall coverage on KSAT:

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