Her incarceration may be over, but Rosemary Lehmberg’s problems are far from it.
Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg was released from jail early Thursday after serving half of a 45-day jail sentence for pleading guilty to driving while intoxicated.
Lehmberg, who was sentenced April 19, served half of her jail term under a law that gives two days credit for every day served for good behavior.
Travis county jail records no longer showed Lehmberg booked by 3 a.m. Thursday.
“She’s been released,” said Travis County sheriff’s spokesman Roger Wade.
Wade said there were no immediate reports of any incidents or security concerns during Lehmberg’s release early Thursday. A day earlier, Wade said Lehmberg could be released anytime after midnight Thursday, but did not have immediate details as to what time she would be released.
Though some inmates are able to to get three days credit for every one day served if they work while incarcerated, Wade said Lehmberg didn’t qualify.
Lehmberg also was sentenced to a $4,000 fine and a 180-day license suspension under a plea agreement.
Upon her release, Lehmberg issued a statement saying she would seek treatment as well. At the time of her sentencing, I thought that if this story remained in the news throughout her incarceration that it meant the political pressure to oust her was not abating. Well, it’s not abating, but if she’s lucky it may run out of time.
State Rep. Phil King, R-Weatherford, went on the offensive against the Travis County district attorney Tuesday night, pushing for an amendment to transfer power over the state’s public integrity away from Rosemary Lehmberg, who is serving jail time over a drunken driving conviction.
King pulled the amendment, which had been attached to House Bill 3153, before it reached a vote, but he said he believes he has the support to attach it to future bills.
“I don’t know if you’ve seen the two videos that are out there,” King said, referencing jail booking footage where an intoxicated Lehmberg kicked doors and shouted at authorities. “She showed incredible belligerence and disrespect.”
King’s amendment would have moved authority over the public integrity unit, which is housed in the Travis County DA’s office and is responsible for investigating malfeasance by the state’s elected officials, to the Texas attorney general’s office in instances when the local DA is convicted of a crime.
He pulled the amendment after members of both parties suggested that it would wreak havoc on the unit.
“The office is being run today very competently without her being there,” state Rep. Charlie Geren, R-Fort Worth, said. “I don’t believe we need to take the money away from them, especially with ongoing investigations.”
“The amendment disrespects, in my view, disrespects the office,” state Rep. Sylvester Turner, D-Houston, said.
So far, Rep. King is the only legislator actively pursuing Lehmberg’s resignation, but he claims that he has the support to get his amendment adopted and will try again. Put that on your list of shenanigans to watch out for in the last two weeks of the session. BOR has more.