Texas Governor Rick Perry
Texas Governor Rick Perry ()

Texas Gov. Rick Perry was booked on Aug. 19 for two felonies related to his conduct when vetoing funding for the Travis County District Attorney’s Public Integrity Unit. In the wake of Travis County D.A. Rosemary Lehmberg’s drunk driving conviction in April 2013, Perry allegedly threatened to veto the funding for the unit, which Lehmberg oversees, unless she resigned. These stories detail the events that transpired since Lehmberg’s arrest in April 2013.

July 24, 2015

Appeals Court Dismisses One of Two Charges Against Former Gov. Perry

Former Gov. Rick Perry will face just one felony charge rather than two after an appellate court dismissed his charge of coercion of a public servant. Perry still faces a charge of abuse of official capacity. Read More

Feb. 17, 2015

State: Perry ‘Stymied’ Public Integrity Unit

“Perry did not approve of historical and current management decisions regarding the operation of the public integrity unit and therefore wanted to coerce Ms. [Rosemary] Lehmberg into resigning,” alleged the state. Read More

Feb. 10, 2015

The New Perry: Combining Politics With Pipelines

Moving in a new direction, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry has gone from the political arena into the business world. Read More

Feb. 4, 2015

Commissioners OK $200,000 More for Perry Prosecution

Travis County commissioners paid millions to keep the public integrity unit running after former Gov. Rick Perry vetoed state money for the unit. Now they’re paying hundreds of thousands for prosecutors in Perry’s criminal case. Read More

Feb. 3, 2015

Third Round in Perry’s Dismissal Fight

Perry argued that his indictment for abuse of official capacity and coercion of a public servant must include more details of the alleged crimes, but he also claimed that it’s legally impossible to show that he committed either crime. Read More

Jan. 28, 2015

Perry: Prosecution Doesn’t Ruin Presidential Ambitions

In the wake of bad news that his criminal case would move forward, former Gov. Rick Perry said it would not stymie his possible run for president because Americans want “a leader not afraid to stand up.” Read More

Richardson Rules That Perry Case Will Proceed

The legal process will continue in former Gov. Rick Perry’s felony case after a judge rejected his attempts to toss the case. Perry plans to appeal. Read More

Jan. 26, 2015

Gov. Perry’s Legal Defense Costs Breach $1 Million

It has cost more than $1.07 million so far to defend Gov. Rick Perry against his felony charges of abuse of official capacity and coercion of a public servant. Read More

Nov. 19, 2014

Judge: McCrum Has Authority to Prosecute Gov. Perry

“The actions taken by Michael McCrum as Attorney Pro Tem are valid and … Mr. McCrum has the authority to act in his capacity as Attorney Pro Tem in this case,” Judge Bert Richardson wrote. Read More

Nov. 11, 2014

State: Perry Case About ‘Criminal Acts,’ Not Vetoes

“This case is not merely a matter of whether a veto is proper. It is a matter of whether the defendant committed criminal acts in abusing the power that had been bestowed upon him,” the state alleged in Gov. Rick Perry’s felony case. Read More

Nov. 7, 2014

Perry Lawyers Show Contrasting Personas

The top lawyers defending Gov. Rick Perry seemed as different as night and day during a pretrial hearing in the governor’s felony case. Read More

Nov. 6, 2014

In Perry Case, Lawyers Spar Over Prosecutor’s Appointment

Gov. Rick Perry’s lawyers have claimed that special prosecutor Michael McCrum is acting “illegally” because he didn’t follow the right process to take his oath of office. Read More

Video: Perry Talks to Media After Hearing on Indictment

Gov. Rick Perry speaks to the media Nov. 6, 2014, after a pretrial hearing in his case over charges of abuse of official capacity and coercion of a public servant. See Video

Sept. 23, 2014

Austin Lawyer Joins Team Prosecuting Gov. Perry

Special prosecutor Michael McCrum said of the new recruit, “He’s a brilliant mind. He’s got a very strong work ethic. He’s got a passion for justice and doing what is right. I think he is extremely well qualified.” Read More

Sept. 10, 2014

Perry’s Legislative Director Also Lawyered Up

The Texas Office of the Governor paid over $19,000 for Austin attorney Jack P. Bacon to represent Kenneth “Ken” Armbrister, Perry’s legislative director, in the grand jury investigation that led to the governor’s indictment. Read More

Sept. 9, 2014

Details of Perry’s Representation Now Secret

When Gov. Rick Perry, facing two felony charges, chose to pay his lawyers from his campaign instead of using state funds, the move eased the burden on taxpayers but also drew a veil of secrecy across details of Perry’s representation. Read More

Sept. 8, 2014

Perry Seeks Expedited Resolution in Second Filing

The new filing “avoids the needless consumption of valuable judicial resources, and should expedite the court’s resolution of Gov. Perry’s constitutional challenges,” said the Sept. 8 first motion to quash and dismiss the indictment in Texas v. Perry. Read More

Aug. 27, 2014

Lawyers Predict Next Move in Perry Case

Texas Lawyer asked three attorneys with longtime criminal law experience to analyze Gov. Rick Perry’s application for pretrial writ of habeas corpus and predict what might happen next. Read More

Impact of Perry’s Funding Veto on Travis County D.A.’s Public Integrity Unit

The state’s 2014 funding would have included 35.5 full-time equivalent employees, but the county funding only covered 23.5 positions. Read More

Letter to the Editor: Indictment of Perry ‘Criminalizes Political Speech’

The state’s 2014 funding would have included 35.5 full-time equivalent employees, but the county funding only covered 23.5 positions. Read More

Aug. 26, 2014

Questions Remain About Perry’s Legal Bills

Rep. Joe Deshotel, D-Beaumont, is seeking answers about the payment of Perry’s legal fees. Deshotel said the A.G. should clarify several issues, including if Perry should pay what the taxpayers have already covered for his legal fees or the $79,550. Read More

Aug. 25, 2014

Perry Claims Indictment Violates Constitution

Gov. Rick Perry argued in a new court filing that the indictment against him injects the courts into a political dispute, that it would stifle free speech by future governors and that his legislative immunity bars the prosecution. Read More

Aug. 22, 2014

Aggie Connection, Friendship May Explain Perry’s Reliance on Buzbee

“I was his debate coach in the last campaign. He’s somebody that I admire and respect, and for something like this, I would hope one of the reasons he chose me is that he trusts me,” Buzbee said. Read More

Aug. 21, 2014

As Perry Faces Indictment, His GC Faces a Big Test

Only three months on the job and already Mary Anne Wiley, general counsel to Texas governor Rick Perry, finds herself swept into controversy and the national eye. Read More

Aug. 19, 2014

Texas Governor Booked, Bonds Out of Jail

Gov. Rick Perry was booked into jail late Tuesday and immediately bonded out for his felony charges of abuse of official capacity and coercion of a public servant. Read More

Texas Titans: A Look at the Criminal Justice Players in Perry Case

“You’ve got a really, really smart, capable prosecutor and defense lawyer. It’s not going to be one of those mismatches, where someone is grossly outlawyered on the other side. These guys are both on the top of their game. They are as good as you are going to find,” said Geary Reamey, a criminal law professor at St. Mary’s University School of Law in San Antonio. Read More

Rick Perry Assembles High-Profile Legal Team

“Gov. Perry will fight this indictment 100 percent, and at the end of the day, he will prevail, because he’s on the side of the rule of law. The governor acted lawfully and properly exercised his power under the law,” said Tony Buzbee, of the Buzbee Law Firm in Houston. Read More

Video: What May Come Next in the Criminal Case Against Gov. Rick Perry?

Dallas criminal defense attorney Gary Udashen discusses what may come next in the courtroom in the wake of Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s indictment—a criminal case he believes will be over sooner rather than later. Read More

Aug. 16, 2014

Attorneys: Prosecutors Have Uphill Battle in Convicting Rick Perry

Criminal defense lawyers not associated with the case said prosecutors could have an uphill battle, in part because they will have to establish what Perry’s intent was when he vetoed funding for the Travis County District Attorney’s Office in the wake of D.A. Rosemary Lehmberg’s drunk driving conviction in April 2013. Read More

Aug. 15, 2014

Special Prosecutor Speaks After Grand Jury Indicts Gov. Rick Perry

A Travis County grand jury has indicted Gov. Rick Perry for two felonies related to his conduct when vetoing funding for the Travis County District Attorney’s Public Integrity Unit, in the wake of D.A. Rosemary Lehmberg’s drunk driving conviction. Perry faces one count of abuse of official capacity and one count of coercion of a public servant. Read More

July 11, 2014

Grand Jury Hears More Evidence in Gov. Perry Criminal Investigation

A Travis County grand jury met on July 11 to continue hearing evidence in the criminal investigation into whether Gov. Rick Perry committed crimes when he vetoed funding for the Travis County District Attorney’s Office Public Integrity Unit. Perry’s veto came in the wake of Travis County D.A. Rosemary Lehmberg’s drunken-driving conviction last year. Michael McCrum, the appointed prosecutor in the case, said the grand jury meets again on July 18. Read More

April 25, 2014

Can Taxpayer Money Be Used for Gov. Perry’s Defense?

A Democratic lawmaker is seeking an attorney general opinion about what legal authority allows Gov. Rick Perry to spend taxpayer money for a criminal defense lawyer to represent him in an investigation into a 2013 veto.

“I think there’s a question that everybody is talking about … whether or not the taxpayer dollars can be used for criminal defense,” said Rep. Joe Deshotel, D-Beaumont. He wrote an April 25 opinion request to Texas A.G. Greg Abbott. Read More

April 21, 2014

Well-Known Lawyer to Represent Gov. Rick Perry in Criminal Investigation

Well-known criminal defense lawyer David Botsford is representing Gov. Rick Perry in an investigation into allegations that the governor committed crimes last summer when he vetoed funding for the Travis County District Attorney’s Public Integrity Unit. Read More

March 20, 2014

Investigation Ongoing Into Veto of Funding for Public Integrity Unit

A special prosecutor says he’s still investigating a complaint against Rick Perry regarding the governor’s 2013 veto of about $3.7 million per year in funding for the Travis County District Attorney’s Public Integrity Unit. Although the grand jury that is supposed to hear the matter will expire on March 28, the special prosecutor said he would eventually ask for another grand jury. Read More

Dec. 11, 2013

Travis County D.A. Rosemary Lehmberg to Stay in Office

Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg will stay in her post. Visiting Judge David Peeples denied the state’s petition to remove her from office. While Peeples didn’t provide the reason for his ruling, he did reproach Lehmberg for her extent of intoxication and her behavior the night of April 12, when she was arrested for driving while intoxicated. Read More

Oct. 4, 2013

No Indictment for DA Rosemary Lehmberg for Post-Arrest Jail Behavior

A grand jury has declined to indict Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg based on a citizen’s complaint, which alleged she committed a crime by threatening jailers while in jail after her April arrest for driving while intoxicated. Read More

Oct. 1, 2013

Reduced Public Integrity Unit Will Take Only Travis County Cases

The Travis County District Attorney’s Public Integrity Unit will shrink, but it will live another year. That’s after local funding kicked in on Oct. 1 to replace the expired state funding that Gov. Rick Perry vetoed in June. The leaner unit will no longer accept statewide cases, instead focusing on prosecuting offenses that occur in Travis County. Read More

Sept. 6, 2013

Judge Overseeing Gov. Perry Criminal Complaint Picks Grand Jury

The judge who is overseeing a criminal complaint against Gov. Rick Perry on Sept. 6 chose members for a grand jury. During the proceeding, two prosecutors sat at the counsel tables: the attorney pro tem for the Perry complaint and the attorney pro tem for a citizen’s criminal complaint against Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg. Read More

Aug. 19, 2013

Attorney Pro Tem to Investigate Gov. Perry’s Funding Veto

San Antonio attorney Michael McCrum on Aug. 19 took the oath of office to serve as an attorney pro tem to investigate allegations that Gov. Rick Perry committed crimes when he vetoed funding for the Travis County District Attorney’s Public Integrity Unit. Read More

Aug. 12, 2013

Plan Proposed to Help Fund DA’s Public Integrity Unit

The Travis County Commissioners Court has voted 4-1 to direct the county’s budget office to “find a way” to appropriate $1.76 million to the Travis County District Attorney’s Public Integrity Unit. DA Rosemary Lehmberg will also contribute $734,422 from an account containing criminals’ forfeited property. Read More

July 29, 2013

Investigation of Governor’s Cut to DA’s Public Integrity Unit

A criminal investigation will launch into Gov. Rick Perry’s veto of funding for the Travis County DA’s Public Integrity Unit. Meanwhile, efforts in the Legislature to restore the unit’s funding will probably fail, passing the funding burden to Travis County. Read More

July 8, 2013

Ex-DA Investigating Complaint Against Rosemary Lehmberg

Former Brazos County District Attorney Bill Turner will investigate a criminal complaint that alleges that Travis County DA Rosemary Lehmberg committed third-degree felony obstruction by threatening jailers after her arrest for driving while intoxicated. If he determines it’s appropriate, Turner says he’ll present the case to a Travis County grand jury. Read More

July 2, 2013

Job Cuts Slated for Public Integrity Unit

More than 30 employees of the Travis County District Attorney’s Public Integrity Unit will get notices that their positions will be eliminated because Gov. Rick Perry vetoed the unit’s funding. The Travis County Commissioners Court on July 2 voted unanimously to send notice of a “reduction in force,” effective Sept. 30. Read More

June 17, 2013

Governor Perry Cuts Millions from Public Integrity Unit

Gov. Rick Perry issued a line-item veto striking $7.57 million in funding for the Public Integrity Unit in the Travis County District Attorney’s Office.

“I cannot in good conscience support continued State funding for an office with statewide jurisdiction at a time when the person [Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg] charged with ultimate responsibility of that unit has lost the public’s confidence. This unit is in no other way held accountable to state taxpayers, except through the State budgetary process,” says a statement on Perry’s website. The unit prosecutes offenses by public officials committed in Travis County, which includes the state capitol and encompasses many elected officials. The unit also prosecutes statewide insurance fraud and motor-fuels tax offenses. Read More

May 24, 2013

Lehmberg: Removal Suit, Statute Unconstitutional

Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg claims in a May 24 original answer that an attempt to remove her from office for drunk driving, and parts of the Texas statute governing removal, are unconstitutional.

The court should dismiss the removal suit and deny all relief, Lehmberg argues in her answer in The State of Texas on the Relation of David A. Escamilla v. Rosemary Lehmberg.

One of Lehmberg’s attorneys, Dan Richards, partner in Richards Rodriguez & Skeith in Austin, says the Texas Constitution requires “habitual drunkenness” to remove an elected official, but the original petition lists just one incident. Read More

April 29, 2013

New Removal Suit Filed Against DA Rosemary Lehmberg for DWI

Travis County Attorney David Escamilla has filed a new lawsuit against Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg, seeking to remove her from office because of her conviction for drunk driving.

Escamilla’s new removal suit seeks to remove Lehmberg under Texas Local Government Code §87 for “Intoxication on or off duty caused by drinking an alcoholic beverage,” according to the April 29 original petition in The State of Texas On the Relation of David A. Escamilla v. Rosemary Lehmberg. The suit notes that Lehmberg on April 19 pleaded guilty to Class A misdemeanor driving while intoxicated that was committed on April 12.

The suit asks Travis County’s 98th District Court to temporarily suspend Lehmberg, appoint someone to perform her duties and to remove her from office after a trial. Read More

April 19, 2013

DA DWI: Rosemary Lehmberg Sentenced to 45 Days in Jail

A Travis County deputy took Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg away in handcuffs on the morning of April 19 to serve a 45-day jail sentence after she pleaded guilty to Class A misdemeanor driving while intoxicated. Read More

April 12, 2013

Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg Charged With DWI

A Travis County deputy arrested Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg on Friday, April 12, 2013, for driving while intoxicated. A man called 911 around 10:45 p.m. that night to report a Lexus that was “traveling in the bike lane” of F.M. 620 for a mile, according to an Affidavit for Warrant of Arrest and Detention. According to the caller’s statement recounted in the affidavit, the car re-entered the road and was “swerving in and out of its lane and as the vehicle approached Comanche Trail it crossed into on coming traffic.” The vehicle pulled over in front of a church, continued the caller. The deputy’s handwritten note indicates he then arrived on the scene. The deputy found an open bottle of vodka in the passenger area, and Lehmberg admitted she “had two vodka drinks earlier in the evening,” says the affidavit. Read More