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Miller avoids charges for his questionable trips

Can’t catch ’em all.

Sid Miller

Travis County prosecutors will not press criminal charges against Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller for tapping taxpayer funds for two trips that involved personal activities — including an appearance in a Mississippi rodeo and the receipt of a medical injection in Oklahoma called the “Jesus Shot.”

“We have decided to close our file and not pursue criminal charges against Commissioner Miller on these allegations,” Assistant District Attorney Susan Oswalt wrote in a memo to the Texas Department of Public Safety dated Sept. 8 first reported by The Houston Chronicle. “Our office has determined that criminal intent would be difficult to prove in this case.”

Travis County was reviewing an investigation that the Texas Rangers launched after the liberal advocacy group Progress Texas filed complaints about the Stephenville Republican’s February 2015 trips.

Those complaints followed media reports indicating that Miller personally benefitted from the state-funded trips.

A statement posted Tuesday to Miller’s Facebook account said the commissioner was “pleased this process is now complete and that he has been cleared of any wrongdoing.” The statement also thanked the Travis County District Attorney’s office and the Texas Rangers for their “professionalism.”

[…]

In her memo, Oswalt wrote “it is clear that Commissioner Miller used campaign and state funds to pay for the two trips,” but noted that he had fully repaid the state.

“Additionally, the total amount spent on the trips was relatively small, the state has been refunded all the money it expended on these trips, and the facts have been made known publicly so that Commissioner Miller is likely to be more careful in the future,” the memo said.

See here for the background. Let’s be clear, this isn’t a vindication of any kind, and Miller clearly wasn’t innocent. ADA Oswalt basically says as much in the memo – he did it, we all know it, but the amount involved was small, he paid it back, proving “intent” will be nigh impossible, so it just isn’t worth our time and limited resources to pursue. Miller will claim vindication anyway, and because the story ends here and we all have short memories, he’ll mostly get it. But we know what happened. The Chron and the Current have more.

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6 Comments

  1. Gary Bennett says:

    Perhaps they have concluded that no Texas Republican bigwigs will ever serve hard time as long as they have partisan appeals courts to appeal to. (See previous crooks Tom DeLay, Rick Perry and Ken Paxton, all now walking free.)

  2. brad moore says:

    “cleared of wrongdoing”?!….Miller is a Class A liar.

  3. Bill Daniels says:

    the commissioner was “pleased this process is now complete and that he has been cleared of any wrongdoing.”

    As we learned from the FBI investigation of Hillary, not indicted is a very different thing from “cleared of any wrongdoing,” and for the exact same reason. Miller clearly junketed on the taxpayer Dime. He should have been charged for that.

  4. brad m says:

    Bill,

    Great non-sensical segue and I am glad you got that Clinton hatred off your chest. Must have been bothering you.

    What was the exact and accurate quote that Clinton used?

  5. Bill Daniels says:

    In the first reaction from the Clinton camp to Comey’s statement, spokesman Brian Fallon said that the campaign was “pleased that the career officials handling this case have determined that no further action by the Department is appropriate.
    “As the secretary has long said, it was a mistake to use her personal email and she would not do it again. We are glad that this matter is now resolved.”

    http://www.cnn.com/2016/07/05/politics/fbi-director-doesnt-recommend-charges-against-hillary-clinton/

    No seque, more like an apples to apples comparison. Miller and Clinton both clearly violated the law, and both get a pass from the investigating bodies, and both, no doubt, escaped prosecution, because politics.

    IMHO, both should have been indicted, both should have been tried in court. Of course, with respect to Hillary, there’s the matter of the extra thousands of work e-mails that didn’t get turned over, PLUS the evidence of Hillary’s computer guru going to Reddit to seek advice on how to alter her e-mails AFTER they were subpoenaed.

    In case you haven’t guessed, I’m against corruption, period.

  6. Brad says:

    I think you’re confusing the word corruption with Clinton’s actions. Clinton had no benefit or gain from her actions. As a note, she did admit to mistakes and the press statement was accurate that no action was deemed appropriate.

    Miller was clearly cheating the rules for his financial benefit, then lied about it, then made a false statement about no wrongdoing.

    I think the comparison you make is more of a pear versus apple comparison.