Agreement reached to provide records related to city's decision to ban Chick-fil-A at airport

City of San Antonio to provide Attorney General Ken Paxton with documents

SAN ANTONIO – An agreement has been reached regarding an open records request for documents related to the city of San Antonio's decision to exclude Chick-fil-A from the San Antonio International Airport based on the restaurant chain's donations to religious ministries, Attorney General Ken Paxton announced Friday.

Officials with the Office of the Texas Attorney General said the city will provide Paxton with documents regarding the city's communications, meetings and records related to the exclusion of Chick-fil-A.

The Office of the Attorney General will then have three business days to notify the city if additional documents are needed and file an agreed notice to dismiss the ongoing open records lawsuit, officials said.

"Excluding a company and its owner based on their religious beliefs demonstrates a total disregard for Texas law and the First Amendment protections in our Constitution. I look forward to reviewing the city of San Antonio's records surrounding this discriminatory decision," Paxton said. "Our great state deeply values the First Amendment, and my office will defend those rights for all who live and operate in Texas."

On March 21, the City Council voted 6-4 to remove Chick-fil-A from a new airport concessionaire contract, despite a favorable recommendation by city staff, citing Chick-fil-A owners' religious beliefs.

Paxton sent a letter to the San Antonio mayor and City Council members on March 28 announcing an investigation regarding their decision, officials said.

In a separate letter, Paxton urged Secretary Elaine Chao, of the United States Department of Transportation, to open an investigation into the city of San Antonio's potential violation of federal law and Transportation Department regulations, according to the Office of the Texas Attorney General.

Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law Senate Bill 1978 in July. Officials said the bill prohibits the government from discriminating against anyone who donates to, affiliates with or supports a religious organization.

San Antonio City Attorney Andy Segovia released the following statement:

"The City has always complied with the Attorney General's open records process. In mid-July their Open Records Division ruled that the City should release documents and we agreed to. Today, the Texas Attorney General finally agreed to drop their writ of mandamus lawsuit."