Reps. Joe Driver and Linda Harper Brown made it through the election and now just have to worry about what a prosecutor might think.
The Travis County district attorney’s office is looking into Driver’s travel reimbursements. An official there last week said he couldn’t comment on whether Harper-Brown’s use of a 2010 Mercedes-Benz E550 was being investigated.
Kathy Colvin, a spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney’s office in Dallas, said she couldn’t comment about whether her office was looking into either Driver’s or Harper-Brown’s actions.
Driver and Harper-Brown did not return phone calls seeking comment last week.
Dallas County Republican Party chairman Jonathan Neerman said it’s too soon to tell whether either of the lawmakers will face future political repercussions.
“The voters had a chance to make a determination, which they did on Tuesday night,” he said. “If there’s still an investigation being conducted by those legal authorities, we need to let those investigations play out.”
Cal Jillson, a political science professor at Southern Methodist University, said Driver and Harper-Brown will likely be in the clear if authorities don’t conclude they did anything wrong.
“They have been re-elected to new two-year terms,” Jillson said. “By the time they stand for re-election again, if there have been no further scandals or major issues raised against them, these will fade.”
Very likely true, though unless they actually get a result that casts doubt on the merit of the initial charges I’m sure they will come up again. But unless they get into more trouble, it will be at most background noise, and could even be an asset for them if they wind up in the clear. Timing is everything in this life.