A visiting state district judge began convening a special grand jury Wednesday to consider two possible criminal cases stemming from the April drunken driving arrest of Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg.
The 12-member panel with two alternates, which may be seated as early as Friday, will help determine whether Gov. Rick Perry broke any law when he threatened to veto millions of dollars in state funding to Lehmberg’s office unless she resigned.
The grand jury will also help determine whether Lehmberg violated any state laws, including those concerning obstruction, resulting from her behavior in the Travis County Jail immediately after her arrest.
The grand jury will meet, hear evidence and deliberate in private. It can issue indictments or can decide criminal court action isn’t merited.
See here and here for other recent developments. According to KVUE, the grand jury is “expected to possibly consider jailhouse recordings that show Lehmberg dropping the names of both Travis County Sheriff Greg Hamilton and Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo”. I hadn’t known that Lehmberg’s behavior was also in scope, but it makes sense. Let’s get to the bottom of this once and for all and see what if anything needs to be done from here. Juanita has more.
UPDATE: Patricia Kilday Hart adds on.
San Antonio State District Judge Bert Richardson notified the special prosecutors he plans “to put together a grand jury to be at our disposal as we may need it,” said former Brazos County District Attorney Bill Turner, who was named special prosecutor for the complaint against Lehmberg. “It’s not at all unusual in an investigation to use a grand jury. They have the ability to subpoena witnesses and recover records. It’s part of an investigation.”
Turner said he expects the panel to be sworn in Friday. He will be working in concert with San Antonio attorney Michael McCrum, who was named as special prosecutor to handle the complaint against Perry.
The term of a Travis County grand jury is three months, unless the panel seeks additional time to complete an investigation.
I hadn’t realized there was a second special prosecutor involved. Good to know, as is the time frame. We may be done with this phase of the saga by the end of the year.