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Special Prosecutor To Investigate Perry Veto

Shelley Kofler
/
KERA News

A Texas judge says he plans to have a special prosecutor review allegations that Gov. Rick Perry abused his office when he vetoed state funding for the Travis County District Attorney’s Public Integrity Unit.

The complaint stems from an allegation that Perry said he would veto millions in funding for the office if Democratic D.A. Rosemary Lehmberg did not step down.  Lehmberg was arrested for drunken-driving in April but did not quit her job.

Craig McDonald with Texans for Public Justice filed the complaint alleging numerous violations including bribery.

"If the Governor had offered $7.5 million of his own money to our district attorney if she would resign, clearly no one would doubt that’s not a bribe.  And when he does it with taxpayer money we think it’s the same act," said McDonald.

The allegations range from misdemeanor to felony crimes that could carry anything from a fine to jail time upon conviction.

Specially appointed Judge Robert Richardson of San Antonio says he will name a prosecutor to investigate the charges. 

The governor's office issued a statement saying Perry was only exercising his constitutional veto authority and he did nothing wrong.

 

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Shelley Kofler is managing editor/senior reporter forKERANews. She is an award-winning reporter and television producer who has served asKERAnews director and the Austin bureau chief and legislative reporter for North Texas ABC affiliateWFAA-TV. Her expertise on legislative policy issues includes school finance, foster care and transportation; and her stories on the overmedication of foster children captured the attention of state officials who strengthened laws for the use of psychotropic drugs.
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