Wise decision, something our Governor is not known for.
Gov. Rick Perry, who has been using taxpayer dollars to pay his defense lawyers, will tap campaign funds from now on to compensate the attorneys who are fighting his felony indictments, his spokesman said Wednesday night.
Perry spokesman Felix Browne said the governor, who has blasted the indictments as a “farce,” did not want to saddle taxpayers with the cost of a wrongful prosecution.
“This is an assault on the Constitution,” Browne said. “We don’t want it to be an assault on the taxpayers as well.”
Perry will use funds in his state campaign account, he said. As of June 30, the account had more than $4 million in it.
State records show taxpayers have spent about $80,000 so far to represent Perry as he faced criminal investigation. He was indicted last week on two felony counts stemming for allegedly abusing his office with a threat to veto funds destined for the state’s public integrity unit, which oversees public corruption cases.
Yeah, I know, not much of a hiatus from talking about the Perry indictment, but this counts as actual news. I’ve previously said that one can make a case for the state picking up the tab for Perry’s legal bills given the connection of the indictment to his official duties, though I would not have to be the one defending that position to the voters. Turns out, according to that Trib story from which I quoted the late update, Perry billing the state for his attorneys would have been unprecedented. Nice bit of research by the Trib, and it undercuts the argument I had been willing to accept, in addition to making the optics even worse what with Perry having millions in his Rick PAC. If that means he has to cut back a bit on the high-priced legal talent or hustle that much harder to be able to afford it, well, welcome to real life as the vast majority of people know it.