Texas A&M Bush School Professor, Experts Weigh In On Perry Indictment

COLLEGE STATION - Governor Rick Perry's high-powered legal team addressed the media Monday afternoon after he was indicted Friday in Austin for abuse of power after vetoing funding for the state's public integrity unit.

A Political Science Professor at Texas A&M spoke with News 3 about the political ramifications of Perry's indictment.

Governor Rick Perry says he will fight charges of abuse of power. On Friday a Travis County Grand Jury indicted Perry after he'd vetoed funding from the State's Public Integrity Unit.

At the center of the controversy is Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg, who pleaded guilty to driving drunk after she was arrested in April 2013.

"It's a Democratic District Attorney... Governor Perry did in fact threaten to veto the funding for the public integrity unit which she is the head of unless she resigned. She chose not to resign and he vetoed," said Ann Bowman, Ph.D., who is a professor specializing in state and local politics at the Texas A&M Bush School of Government.

"It's an interesting case. I mean it's kind of an example of Washington politics happening here in Texas with the political hardball that's being played, the partisan politics clearly being played on this issue," she said.

Ross Ramsey with The Texas Tribune says the timing is particularly tricky for Perry as he considers another Presidential Bid in 2016.

"If it passes very quickly it'll be water under the bridge. If he has a big victory it could actually boost his chances but you know he's got a legal risk here and a political one," said Ramsey, who is the Co-Founder of The Texas Tribune.

Monday afternoon Perry's attorney's went on the offensive including one of his lead counselors, Texas A&M Regent and Houston Attorney Tony Buzbee.

"This was wrong and what the governor did was right and we look forward to not trying this case in the press but to trying the case in the courtroom.Thank you," said Buzbee, at the conclusion of the Press Conference.

"I would assume his forces would be pushing for a quick resolution of this," said Ann Bowman.

A case that is likely to be costly for Texas taxpayers who will foot some of the legal fees.

It's not known when Governor Perry will have to appear in court, and the special prosecutor has ordered a summons for him rather than a warrant.

That means he won't be arrested at this time.


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