Watchdog: Perry Veto Threat May be Abuse of Power

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) A watchdog group is alleging Gov. Rick Perry abused his official powers by threatening to halt funding to the state's Public Integrity Unit if a district attorney convicted of drunk driving doesn't resign.

Texans for Public Justice said in a complaint Friday that Perry potentially acted criminally by pressuring Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg to step down.

Lehmberg pleaded guilty after her April 12 arrest and served about half of a 45-day jail sentence. She's refused to resign.

But Perry hinted that if Lehmberg remains in office, he may veto part of the state budget funding the ethics-enforcement unit, which is based in Travis County.

He said Thursday that if he does so, prosecutors would "have to prioritize whether they think those cases are important enough to go forward."


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