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Posts Tagged ‘Travis County’

What will the clerks do?

Some of Texas’ county clerks are making plans to accommodate same-sex marriage license applicants in the event that federal judge Orlando Garcia lifts the stay on his ruling that tossed out the state’s ban on same-sex nuptials. Some other clerks are planning to be jerks about it. Jeff Nicholson, chief deputy for Tarrant County Clerk […]

McCrum avoids contempt charge

Whew. Mike McCrum, the special prosecutor in the criminal case against Gov. Rick Perry, was cleared Monday of an attempt to find him in contempt of court stemming from a separate case. Visiting Judge Dick Alcala declined to find McCrum, a prominent local defense lawyer, in contempt after a daylong hearing. The district attorney’s office […]

While we wait for a ruling in the Rick Perry case

This story about a group of big-name lawyers filing a brief in support of Rick Perry’s motion to dismiss the charges against him ran a week ago. I put off writing about it because it looked like we might get a ruling on the motions from Judge Bert Richardson, but since he’s still thinking about […]

Paper ballots make a comeback

From the Everything Old Is New Again department: States have abandoned electronic voting machines in droves, ensuring that most voters will be casting their ballots by hand on Election Day. With many electronic voting machines more than a decade old, and states lacking the funding to repair or replace them, officials have opted to return […]

Perry’s first day in court

Hopefully not his last, but that’s up to the judge at this time. Gov. Rick Perry appeared in court Thursday to watch his attorneys, armed with plenty of theater, try to convince a judge that the prosecutor pursuing abuse-of-power charges against him was improperly sworn in. “Why do we raise what some people say are […]

McCrum responds to Perry’s motions

Another story to distract us from the election results. Special prosecutor Michael McCrum filed court papers on Monday, saying the governor, who was indicted for abuse of office, shouldn’t have access to grand jury testimony because he could intimidate witnesses. McCrum filed two lengthy briefs in answer to a barrage of pre-trial motions filed by […]

Perry has a court date

Happy Halloween, Rick. Visiting Judge Bert Richardson of San Antonio on Monday set the appearance for Oct. 31. Richardson also gave special prosecutor Michael McCrum until Nov. 7 to respond to two motions to quash the case. Richardson had excused Perry from appearing in court Monday. The governor is traveling overseas this week, leading an […]

Complaint against McCrum dropped

Good. Travis County Attorney David Escamilla said Wednesday he has looked into recent allegations by a Houston attorney against the special prosecutor in the case against Gov. Rick Perry and will not investigate further. Escamilla said he found no evidence prosecutor Michael McCrum violated state laws or county policies regarding theft, abuse of authority or […]

Voter registration numbers are up

Some good news here. The number of Texans registered to vote in the state’s five largest counties increased by 2 percent since 2012, a reversal of the decline in total voter registrations that was seen before the last midterm election. Nearly 150,000 more Texans in these counties are eligible to vote in November’s election between […]

Perry’s lawyers are earning their paychecks

You never know what might stick when you throw everything you’ve got at the wall. Lawyers for Gov. Rick Perry on Friday filed a request to dismiss the indictment against the governor, saying paperwork needed to properly swear in the prosecutor appointed to shepherd the case was not properly filled out or filed. “Insofar as […]

DeLay gets off

Sure is nice to have friends in high places. Siding with a decision made a year ago by a lower appeals court, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals on Wednesday refused to reinstate money-laundering convictions against former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay. In an 8-1 decision, the state’s highest criminal court backed a Texas […]

Perry doesn’t have to show up at his court hearing

He’s excused this time. But don’t push it. Gov. Rick Perry does not have to appear at an Oct. 13 court hearing in his case, but that does not mean he has a pass to skip all future hearings, Visiting Judge Bert Richardson ruled on Friday, according to the special prosecutor in the case. This […]

Paxton investigation put off till after the election

I can’t really argue with this. The Travis County District Attorney’s Office will not pursue legal action against attorney general candidate state Sen. Ken Paxton until after the election, if at all, because of an internal policy aimed at preventing politically motivated investigations in campaign season. The postponed timeline could be problematic for Paxton, a […]

McCrum slaps back at Perry

Interesting legal strategy. The special prosecutor in the criminal case against Rick Perry said Tuesday that the governor is asking for “special favors” and that his activities, including a rally when he was booked, are making a mockery of the justice system. “I don’t think there’s any reason why Mr. Perry should be treated any […]

Perry’s lawyers ask again for indictments to be tossed

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. Attorneys for Gov. Rick Perry, indicted last month on charges related to his veto threat of money for the Travis County District Attorney’s office, have filed another request for a judge to throw out the case. The motion to dismiss the indictment filed Monday makes many of […]

Now how much would you pay for Rick Perry’s lawyers?

The tab has gone up. Gov. Rick Perry has billed taxpayers $133,000 to hire several lawyers to defend him against public corruption allegations, his office confirmed Friday. That’s more lawyers and more state money spent than previously disclosed. After Perry was criticized about the taxpayer expenditures, the governor’s office announced he would use campaign funds […]

Rick Perry was actively searching for Rosemary Lehmberg’s replacement

The plot thickens. Gov. Rick Perry personally called a well-known Austin Democrat to discuss her interest in replacing Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg days before the public learned Perry was threatening to withhold state funding from Lehmberg’s office unless she resigned. Austin defense attorney Mindy Montford, who previously ran as a Democratic candidate for […]

Perry’s legal team to try to get indictments tossed

It’s what any defense attorney would try to do. A lawyer for Gov. Rick Perry said Friday he will challenge felony charges that the governor overstepped his authority when he said he would veto state funding for Travis County prosecutors if District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg would not resign her post. David Botsford, an attorney for […]

The Public Integrity Unit probably won’t have to worry about a veto next year

They’ll have bigger things to worry about. With Republican partisans campaigning loudly to strip Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg of her control of the unit, chances of getting the funding restored under her by the GOP-dominated Legislature that convenes in January do not look good. Senate Finance Committee Chair Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, said […]

Perry will pay for his own defense

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 […]

Look behind the scenes

There’s another angle to consider the Perry indictment saga, which is that the indictment isn’t so much about what Rick Perry said publicly regarding Rosemary Lehmberg and the Public Integrity Unit but what he was saying behind the scenes. Erica Greider explores this, with a minor detour first. To review those facts, in 2013 the […]

On Mike McCrum and Pa Ferguson

There were two stories from Sunday about special prosecutor Mike McCrum that were worth flagging. First, here’s the Express News with an angle that I think has been underappreciated. People who know McCrum said he is not the type to use a case to play politics. San Antonio defense attorney Patrick Hancock said McCrum is […]

More on the Perry indictment

Just some more thoughts and links relating to the big story that turned a relatively quiet Friday into one of the busiest news day of the year so far. Let’s start with a reality check from Harold Cook. First of all, I’m a bit puzzled by the indictment. It seems weak to me. When the […]

Perry indicted

Wow. A grand jury indicted Gov. Rick Perry on Friday on charges of abuse of power and coercion as part of an ethics inquiry into his veto of funding for the state’s public integrity unit. The inquiry began last summer after an ethics complaint was filed alleging that Perry had improperly used a veto to […]

TPJ files criminal complaint against Ken Paxton

From the inbox: TPJ Calls for Formal Investigation of AG Candidate Ken Paxton – Criminal Complaint Filed With Travis County DA’s Office TPJ has filed a criminal complaint with the Travis County District Attorney against State Senator and Attorney General candidate Ken Paxton. The complaint, filed on July 18, seeks a formal investigation into allegations […]

Another lawsuit against Uber and Lyft

That’s three lawsuits that I know of. A coalition of Texas disability advocates sued ride-share companies Uber and Lyft on Thursday as part of dozens of lawsuits filed around the state ahead of the anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. “Uber and Lyft are up and coming in terms of transportation companies, and they […]

Travis County pursues new voting machines

Very, very interesting. With the nation facing what a January government report described as an “impending crisis” in voting technology, officials in Travis County are taking matters into their own hands by seeking to create a unique, next-generation system of voting machines. The efforts put Travis County, along with Los Angeles County in California, at […]

The Trib on the AG race

What do you do when you have an ethically compromised candidate on your ticket? Thank your lucky stars that you’re the majority party and hope like hell the challenger can’t get any traction. A political candidate’s troubles are supposed to be a gold mine for the opposition, but that has not been the case with […]

White return flight

Some interesting demographic trends going on. Between 2000 and 2010, [Harris] county, like much of the U.S., saw a sharp decline of its white population, losing about 12 percent of Anglos or about 83,000 people. The drop mirrors demographic shifts across the nation as white birthrates have slowed. But in the past three years, Harris […]

Perry grand jury may be winding down

We are getting close to some action on this. A grand jury looking into whether Gov. Rick Perry abused his power with a veto threat appears closer to wrapping up after current and former Perry staffers were behind closed doors with the panel Friday. “It’s getting to the point where we’ll have talked to all […]

DeLay gets his day before the CCA

Looks like he might have had a pretty good day, too. Oral arguments in Tom DeLay’s decadelong legal fight with the Travis County District Attorney’s office heated up Wednesday as Republican judges on the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals questioned whether prosecutors could prove the former House majority leader illegally funneled corporate money to state […]

Today’s the day for Tom DeLay at the CCA

Apologies for the excessive alliteration. I got on a roll and couldn’t stop. DeLay’s appellate lawyer, Brian Wice of Houston, and Travis County prosecutor Holly Taylor will argue Wednesday before the state’s highest criminal court in Austin over whether the jury’s verdict should be reinstated or if DeLay will be exonerated. A victory by DeLay […]

More plaintiffs respond to Abbott’s recusal motion

I think it’s fair to say that the plaintiffs are strongly opposed to Greg Abbott’s attempt to get Judge Dietz recused in the school finance trial. Lawyers representing hundreds of school districts pushed back Thursday against Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott’s effort to remove a judge who is weighing the constitutionality of the school finance […]

TPJ files amicus brief in DeLay appeal

It’s almost time for Tom DeLay to go to court again. A government-watchdog group on Tuesday petitioned the state’s highest criminal court to reinstate the money-laundering and conspiracy convictions of former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom Delay, moving to join a brewing legal fight before a scheduled June 18 court hearing in the case. DeLay, […]