Covington’s mayor charged with violation

Editor: Shannon Cottongame

September 8, 2021

The Hill County Sheriff’s Office arrested the mayor of Covington Wednesday, September 1, after an investigation into an alleged open meetings act violation.

George L. Burnett, 72, of Covington was charged with a violation of the Texas Open Meetings act, which is a Class B misdemeanor.

According to Hill County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Scott Robinson, the sheriff’s office was asked by the Hill County Attorney’s Office to look into the matter. Robinson said that investigators found probable cause to believe a violation had occurred, and an arrest warrant was drafted and signed after being reviewed by District Judge Lee Harris.

County Attorney David Holmes stated, “I was informed about a possible open meeting violation that occurred in Covington last month. I asked the Hill County Sheriff’s Office to investigate the matter, and I appreciate their quick response to my request.”

Holmes added, “I did have the opportunity to review the arrest warrant affidavit prior to it being presented to Judge Harris, and I believe that probable cause is clearly present. It is an ongoing investigation, so I will not comment further about the matter.”

The Texas Open Meetings Act is designed to make governmental meetings and decisions accessible to the public except for discussions that take place in authorized closed sessions. Additional specifics of the case have not yet been publicly released.

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