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Posts Tagged ‘Travis County’

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, […]

AG opinion sought for Perry’s use of taxpayer funds for defense

Interesting. A Democratic House leader has asked for a legal opinion on how and if Gov. Rick Perry can bill taxpayers for his $450-an-hour criminal lawyer defending him in a grand jury probe. Perry is under a grand jury investigation on potential bribery and coercion charges after trying to force Travis County District Attorney Rosemary […]

Rick Perry really wanted Rosemary Lehmberg to quit

From the Trib. Even after Gov. Rick Perry stripped funding for the agency that prosecutes state public corruption cases, his emissaries worked to swap the resignation of embattled Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg for restoration of the money, several sources told The Texas Tribune this week. The Tribune learned of the proposal as a […]

The Rick Perry grand jury convenes

Game on. A grand jury was sworn in Monday to look into whether Gov. Rick Perry acted improperly last year when he threatened to kill funding for the Travis County district attorney’s public corruption division unless District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg resigned after her drunken driving conviction. The office of the governor – who carried through […]

Perry lawyers up

It’s getting real. Texas Gov. Rick Perry has hired a high-profile Austin defense lawyer to represent him in an investigation into whether he illegally withheld money from the Travis County District Attorney’s office. KVUE News and the Austin American-Statesman confirmed Sunday evening the hiring of David L. Botsford. The hiring comes as a special Travis […]

Perry special prosecutor is “concerned”

As are we all. A special prosecutor investigating whether Gov. Rick Perry abused his authority when he eliminated state funding of the Texas public integrity unit — which investigates government corruption and is housed in the Travis County district attorney’s office — said what he’s found so far is “concerning.” “I cannot elaborate on what […]

Early voting, one (six day) week in

We have one week completed for early voting, though it was only a six day week thanks to the Presidents Day holiday. Here are the daily totals from the County Clerk. Republicans continue to be the majority of early voters in Harris County, by almost a 3-1 margin. I thought it might be interesting to […]

What’s at stake in the Democratic primaries

I’ve had my fun poking holes in Mark Jones’ ridiculous argument that we should all just vote in the Republican primary, but now it’s time to talk about the Democratic primary and why these races matter. US Senate On Monday and Tuesday I published interviews with Mike Fjetland and Maxey Scherr. I wish I could […]

Lehmberg beats the rap

Good for her. District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg will remain in her position as the top felony prosecutor in Travis County, visiting Judge David Peeples ruled Wednesday. Lehmberg hugged her supporters in the courtroom after the decision was read, shedding tears. In closing arguments, Jim Collins, an assistant county attorney prosecuting the case, argued that keeping […]

Lehmberg civil trial this week

I’d almost forgotten about this. Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg heads to court this week as a defendant in a civil trial that could result in her ouster from office. The trial, set to start Monday in Austin before a visiting judge from San Antonio, stems from Lehmberg’s drunken driving arrest in April. She […]

Lawsuit against abortion restrictions goes to trial

Here we go. Seeking to block the state of Texas from implementing new abortion regulations, plaintiffs representing abortion providers argued Monday in a federal court that the state’s law violates the constitutional right of women to access the procedure. But the state’s attorneys defended Texas’ right to enact laws that advance protections for the life […]

Perry special prosecutor seeks to hire investigator

Moving right along. The special prosecutor in an ongoing investigation into whether Gov. Rick Perry violated state law by vetoing funding for the Travis County ethics-enforcement unit is seeking to hire an investigator and researcher, the first public hint the probe is moving forward past its initial stage. In a request filed Tuesday in Travis […]

Grand jury convening in Perry/Lehmberg veto threat case

Can’t wait to see how this turns out. 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 […]

Texas Supreme Court to hear gay divorce case

That sound you hear is a big can of worms being opened. The Texas Supreme Court announced Friday that it will determine whether same-sex couples, legally married in other states, can be granted a divorce in Texas. The cases, involving couples from Austin and Dallas, will be the first test of Texas’ ban on same-sex […]

Special prosecutor appointed in Perry/Lehmberg veto threat case

Meet Mike McCrum. District Judge Robert Richardson named Mike McCrum to look into a complaint filed by Texans for Public Justice against the governor. The watchdog group alleges that Perry abused his power by threatening to cut funding to the Public Integrity Unit if Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg didn’t resign. The Democrat pleaded […]

Special prosecutor to be appointed in Perry/Lehmberg veto case

Moving forward. A San Antonio senior state district judge confirmed Thursday that he will name a special prosecutor to investigate possible charges of coercion and abuse of official capacity against Gov. Rick Perry. Judge Robert “Bert” Richardson said he expected to name someone early next week, at which time “an order will be prepared and […]