The committee investigating UT Regent Wallace Hall handed down a reprimand Monday that falls short of calling for impeachment. The Select Committee on Transparency in State Agency Operations has been investigating Hall for what some lawmakers have called a “witch hunt” against UT Austin President Bill Powers. Hall is also accused of abusing his position and violating student privacy rights through public information requests.

The panel voted in May that grounds for Hall’s impeachment existed but they declined to draw up formal charges and send them to the full House. Instead, Monday, the committee voted 6-to-1 to censure Hall. However, members say the impeachment option is still on the table. Republican Rep. Charles Perry was the only ‘no’ vote.

Democratic State Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer serves on the House Transparency Committee and helped draft the 26-page censure document. Martinez Fischer said while there aren’t articles of impeachment, the censure is serious.

“It’s important for us to take measured steps, but to set the tone,” he said. “And this censure document really does that. It’s not a slap on the wrist. It’s an embarrassing document.  If I was Regent Hall, I would be embarrassed to know that this is going to be a part of the public record.”

The Travis County Public Integrity Unit is also investigating Hall’s actions, and he could still face criminal charges.

Hall released a statement following the committee vote. He said, in part:

“The committee’s findings are based on distortions, untruths, and intentional misrepresentations. Speaker Straus and his committee have abused the public’s trust and money to cover up their improper interference in System operations, including to defend a university president who was repeatedly asked to leave.”

Gov. Rick Perry, who appointed Hall, released a statement of support. He said:

“Regent Hall has acted how I expect all appointees to act – in the best interest of Texas. He has rightly asked tough questions and held people accountable for their actions, even in the face of withering personal attacks. I hope today closes this ugly chapter and Regent Hall’s critics can stop wasting time and start focusing on what’s important, ensuring higher education is affordable, accessible and accountable to all Texans.”