BD can't see Suede numbers. At least not yet...

The Texas Attorney General has issued a mixed-message ruling in response to an Open Records Request by BD for Suede's sales reports.

The City Auditor is using Suede's sales reports to determine if they are really operating as a bar, under the the City's 75/25 rule.

51A-1.104 – Certificate of Occupancy

Article 1 – General Provisions / Paragraph 4, subsection 4

(4) Any person applying for a certificate of occupancy for an establishment that will sell or serve alcoholic beverages as defined in the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code must file an affidavit with the building official stating whether the establishment will derive 75 percent or more of its gross quarterly (three-month) revenue from the sale of alcoholic beverages for on-premise consumption.

BD asked for the sales reports so he could confirm the basis of any decision made by the Auditor on whether Suede is operating legally (per its zoning) or as a bar (see City Attorney won't release Suede's audit documents - yet).

In their letter, the Attorney General's staff agreed with the City's contention that the information

... at issue consists of audit working papers of the (city) auditors. You further state that the audit has not been completed. Based on your arguments and our review (of the documents), we agree that the submitted information constitutes audit working papers that may be withheld ...

This does not mean the numbers are going to be kept completely secret forever. The City Auditor will soon be issuing reports for each scumbar after determining whether they are really operating as a bar or restaurant (sometime after the Dallas City Council reviews the information in executive session).

In order to make their case, the Auditor will have to include the sales numbers to justify their findings, and those numbers will then become public information.

The City Auditor will have a big problem on his hands if they make a determination without explaining the justification for the ruling.

This is commonly called the You can't expect us to believe you did not just pull those numbers out of your a-- Theory of Public Information.

By Avi S. Adelman under Neighborhoods , Legal issues