Listen: Lt. Gov. Dewhurst Calls to Get Relative Out of Jail (Update)
Update: A spokesperson for Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst says he was acting out of concern for a family member when he called Allen Police to see what he could to get a female relative out of jail. He says Dewhurst was careful not to ask Allen Police to do anything outside of their normal protocol.
But State Sen. Dan Patrick (R-Houston) released a statement calling the move an "abuse of power."
Patrick is challenging Dewhurst for lieutenant governor next year:
“I was saddened and disappointed to hear today's report that David Dewhurst attempted to use his power and influence to get a family member out of jail. The fact that David Dewhurst believes he and his family are above the law is the height of arrogance and recklessness. This blatant abuse of power would be stunning coming from any elected official. However, it is particularly disturbing coming from the Lieutenant Governor of Texas.”
Original Story (Aug. 21, 7:42 p.m.): Allen Police say Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst called a police sergeant after his sister-in-law was arrested on suspicion of shoplifting and asked about getting her out of jail, the Dallas Morning News reports.
Here is a recording of the call posted by the publication.
“I intend to jump into this and see what can be done to prevent this very nice lady, through a miscarriage of justice, from spending the night in jail,” he says at the end of the call. “Now, I may not be able to do anything, but it’s whatever the law says.” During the call, Dewhurst mentioned several times that he is the lieutenant governor and name-dropped Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw and DPS Lt. Brad Weatherford.