As Texas Gov. Rick Perry faces felony charges, his general counsel Mary Anne Wiley has denied any inappropriate actions and said he will fight the claims.
On Aug. 15, a Travis County, Texas, grand jury indicted Perry for abuse of official capacity, which is a first-degree felony, and coercion of a public official. The grand jury found that Perry improperly vetoed $7.5 million in state funding for the Travis County district attorney’s public integrity unit. That unit is overseen by District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg, who refused Perry’s call to resign after she pled guilty to drunk driving charges.
“The veto in question was made in accordance with the veto authority afforded to every governor under the Texas Constitution,” Wiley said in a statement. “We will continue to aggressively defend the governor’s lawful and constitutional action, and believe we will ultimately prevail.”
The charges come just months after Perry, widely viewed as a potential presidential candidate, named Wiley to the GC post. In May, she was promoted from deputy general counsel and director of criminal justice policy to replace David Morales.
Before joining Perry’s staff, Wiley served as criminal justice policy advisor to then-Lt. Gov. Perry, and held the same position on Lt. Gov. Bob Bullock’s staff. She has also served as director of criminal investigation divisions for both the Texas Railroad Commission and the Office of the Comptroller. She was previously head of the Business Law Department in the Texas Tech University School of Business, as well as an adjunct professor at the Texas Tech University School of Law.
Wiley received a bachelor’s degree from Texas Tech University and a J.D. from St. Mary’s University School of Law.