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Judge Allows Lehmberg to Stay as District Attorney

Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg speaks with her lawyer, Dan Richards, after the verdict.

Rosemary Lehmberg will be allowed to continue in her role as Travis County District Attorney.

San Antonio-based Judge David Peeples made that decision this afternoon after three days of testimony recounting the April night when she was arrested for drunk driving and her subsequent treatment for alcohol abuse at a facility in Arizona.

Lehmberg pled guilty and served her time in jail for the DWI charge earlier this year, but a complaint was filed under an obscure state law allowing District Attorneys to be dismissed if they are found to be intoxicated.

County attorneys prosecuting the complaint against Lehmberg told the judge that allowing her to remain in office would harm the public interest. Her defense team argued she had admitted her mistakes and that allowing her to stay would show that people can recover from alcoholism and continue their careers.

Before issuing his ruling, Peeples said he hoped the District Attorney will rewatch police video from the night of her arrest, because it would remind her of what happens when she drinks.  

“First of all I want to apologize again for my behavior,” Lehmberg told reporters after the verdict. “I think I have said over and over again that is was inexcusable. And I have tried to do everything that I can to fix it, and I will continue to do everything in my power to make sure there’s not a repeat of that kind of conduct.”

Update: Lehmberg later released the following statement via email:

I appreciate the thoughtful attention Judge Peeples gave my case.  I am relieved and thankful that the process is over. I was fortunate to have the highly professional assistance of Dan and Clark Richards, Karina Esparza, Catherine Mauzy and Chuck Herring.  I will be forever grateful to them. I appreciate the many supporters, particularly within my office, who encouraged me along the way.  I deeply regret my actions on April 12th and have taken full responsibility.  I am committed to carrying out my responsibilities as District Attorney and to continue serving the voters of Travis County.

Matt Largey is the Projects Editor at KUT. That means doing a little bit of everything: editing reporters, producing podcasts, reporting, training, producing live events and always being on the lookout for things that make his ears perk up. Got a tip? Email him at Follow him on Twitter @mattlargey.
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