Reliably Austin
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Former Executive at CPRIT, Texas' Cancer Agency, Indicted

Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg announces the indictment of former CPRIT executive Jerald Cobbs.

A Travis County grand jury has indicted Jerald Cobbs, a former executive with the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT), in connection with an $11 million grant the agency approved without putting it through required reviews.

The charge of securing execution of a document by deception carries a potential jail sentence of five to 99 years or life, and a fine of up to $10,000.

The grant in question was awarded to Peloton Therapeutics, a Dallas-based biotech outfit, in June 2010, making it one of CPRIT's first grants. Cobbs was the agency's Chief Commercialization Officer at the time and he was responsible for bringing the grant application to the CPRIT oversight board for approval.

Travis County's Public Integrity Unit began an investigation into CPRIT after the agency, through an internal review, found that the grant was awarded outside of its normal review processes. 

That touched off a political firestormfor CPRIT, which was created to finance cancer research with $3 billion in taxpayer money, approved by voters in 2007. State leaders put a moratorium on new grants from the agency last December, and a major restructuring of CPRIT's oversight processes followed. The moratorium on new grants was lifted in October.

Cobbs turned himself in to authorities this morning. He's been released on $85,000 bond. 

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.
Ben Philpott is the Managing Editor for KUT. Got a tip? Email him at Follow him on Twitter @BenPhilpottKUT.
Related Content