Rosemary Lehmberg, the District Attorney for Travis County in Texas was arrested for drunk driving and pled guilty. After being arrested she misbehaved and disrespected law enforcement and staff at the Travis County Jail.
She has admitted she broke the law and misbehaved, and as a result served time in jail.
As the District Attorney for Travis County, Rosemary Lehmberg is in charge of The Public Integrity Unit, which investigates corruption and fraud cases involving government officials.
Governor Perry threatened to veto funding for The Public Integrity Unit unless Lehmberg resigned her position following her drunk driving case and situation.
In June of 2013 the Governor vetoed funding for the unit.
In August 2014 the Travis County District Attorney's Office indicted Governor Perry for coercion for requesting that Lehmberg step down and then vetoing funding for the unit she oversees.
Rick Perry is the Republican Governor of Texas. He has been the governor longer than anyone else in Texas history.
Perry is a former presidential candidate and previously announced his current term as Texas governor will be his last.
Rosemary Lehmberg is a Democrat and the District Attorney for Travis County.
Travis County is where Austin, the capitol of Texas is located. It is reportedly the only county in Texas that voted against banning gay marriage in the state.
Lehmberg pled guilty to drunk driving, was fined $4000, and spent three weeks in jail.
Texans for Public Justice
Texans for Public Justice is a group that filed a complaint against Governor Perry for conditioning funding on whether or not Lehmberg stays in office.
TPJ has been described as a "left leaning" organization whose executive director is Craig McDonald.
In 2011 McDonald called Rick Perry "dirty" and accused him of being a "cash and carry Governor" in a Rolling Stone magazine article describing the Governor as a mobster.
Texans for Public Justice similarly accused Republican Governor George Bush of "payola" when "exposing" his campaign contributions.
Michael McCrum is a Democrat and special prosecutor assigned by San Antonio Judge Robert Richardson, a Republican, to review the complaint by Texans for Public Justice.
McCrum obtained the criminal indictment against the governor.
McCrum was once nominated by President Obama in 2010 to be the US Attorney in San Antonio, but withdrew from consideration because his private law office had seen its cases disappear, the nominating process was taking too long, and he needed to make some money.
Read the Criminal Indictment Against Governor Rick Perry here - this is a PDF file
Rick Perry's motion to dismiss the indictment on constitutional grounds.
Rick Perry in his mug shot is looking dapper and unconcerned about the criminal proceedings.
Perry appeared for his mug shot in a dark suit, plain white shirt, and light blue tie.
The booking photo was taken by the Travis County Sheriff's Department on August 19, 2014.
The mug shot resulted after Governor Perry voluntarily presented himself for booking.
Despite the indictment, Judge Bert Richardson declined to issue an arrest warrant. The judge had not even issued a summons for Perry to appear before Perry appeared at the sheriff's office.
There are two counts in the indictment.
The first is for abuse of official capacity in violaton of Texas Penal Code Statute 39.02.
The second is for coercion of a public servant in violation of Texas Penal Code Statute 36.03.
Section 39.02 states:
39.02. ABUSE OF OFFICIAL CAPACITY.
(a) A public servant commits an offense if, with intent to obtain a benefit or with intent to harm or defraud another, he intentionally or knowingly:
(1) violates a law relating to the public servant's office or employment; or
(b) An offense under Subsection (a)(1) is a Class A misdemeanor.
(2) misuses government property, services, personnel, or any other thing of value belonging to the government that has come into the public servant's custody or possession by virtue of the public servant's office or employment.
(c) An offense under Subsection (a)(2) is:
(1) a Class C misdemeanor if the value of the use of the thing misused is less than $20;
(d) A discount or award given for travel, such as frequent flyer miles, rental car or hotel discounts, or food coupons, are not things of value belonging to the government for purposes of this section due to the administrative difficulty and cost involved in recapturing the discount or award for a governmental entity.
(2) a Class B misdemeanor if the value of the use of the thing misused is $20 or more but less than $500;
(3) a Class A misdemeanor if the value of the use of the thing misused is $500 or more but less than $1,500;
(4) a state jail felony if the value of the use of the thing misused is $1,500 or more but less than $20,000;
(5) a felony of the third degree if the value of the use of the thing misused is $20,000 or more but less than $100,000;
(6) a felony of the second degree if the value of the use of the thing misused is $100,000 or more but less than $200,000; or
(7) a felony of the first degree if the value of the use of the thing misused is $200,000 or more.
(e) If separate transactions that violate Subsection (a)(2) are conducted pursuant to one scheme or continuing course of conduct, the conduct may be considered as one offense and the value of the use of the things misused in the transactions may be aggregated in determining the classification of the offense.
(f) The value of the use of a thing of value misused under Subsection (a)(2) may not exceed:
(1) the fair market value of the thing at the time of the offense; or
(2) if the fair market value of the thing cannot be ascertained, the cost of replacing the thing within a reasonable time after the offense.
Section 36.03 states:
36.03. COERCION OF PUBLIC SERVANT OR VOTER.
(a) A person commits an offense if by means of coercion he:
(1) influences or attempts to influence a public servant in a specific exercise of his official power or a specific performance of his official duty or influences or attempts to influence a public servant to violate the public servant's known legal duty; or
(b) An offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor unless the coercion is a threat to commit a felony, in which event it is a felony of the third degree.
(2) influences or attempts to influence a voter not to vote or to vote in a particular manner.
(c) It is an exception to the application of Subsection (a)(1) of this section that the person who influences or attempts to influence the public servant is a member of the governing body of a governmental entity, and that the action that influences or attempts to influence the public servant is an official action taken by the member of the governing body. For the purposes of this subsection, the term "official action" includes deliberations by the governing body of a governmental entity.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is an indictment?
An indictment is a claim that someone has committed a criminal act.
Does an indictment mean Governor Perry will be found guilty?
It is not a conviction. A jury will decide whether a crime has been committed.
No. Assuming the court does not dismiss the charges because the Governor as a matter of law acted properly, a jury will decide if he is guilty.
What is a grand jury?
There is a famous saying a prosecutor could indict a "ham sandwich" before a grand jury.
A grand jury is a panel of citizens who decide if there is evidence to suggest a criminal act occurred.
Does the Texas Governor Have the Right to Veto Bills?
Only the prosecutor presents evidence to the grand jury. There is no defense, contrary evidence, or cross-examination.
Yes. Governor Perry's ability to issue a veto is enshrined in the Texas Constitution.
Did the Texas Legislature Override the Governor's Veto?
Article 4, Section 14 states in part:
APPROVAL OR DISAPPROVAL OF BILLS; RETURN AND RECONSIDERATION; FAILURE TO RETURN; DISAPPROVAL OF ITEMS OF APPROPRIATION.
Every bill which shall have passed both houses of the Legislature shall be presented to the Governor for his approval. If he approve he shall sign it; but if he disapprove it, he shall return it, with his objections, to the House in which it originated, which House shall enter the objections at large upon its journal, and proceed to reconsider it.
Rho Chalmers - It is being reported that Rho Chalmers was on the grand jury at the same time she was serving as a delegate to the Texas Democratic Party convention.
Here is a reported June 28, 2014, picture of Rho Chalmers, who was already on the grand jury, with her Democratic convention admission tag.
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