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Posts Tagged ‘Travis County’

Perry goes to appeals court with latest motion to dismiss

Leave no stone unturned, and no hour unbilled. Rick Perry’s lawyers have asked a state appeals court to dismiss the indictment against the former governor, saying he lawfully used his power to veto funds to the Travis County district attorney’s office and his right to do so is protected by free speech. “On its face, […]

Complaint filed against judge who allowed same sex marriage

Whatever. The judge that allowed Texas’ first gay marriage to go forward is the target of a judicial conduct complaint, the latest volley in the state’s attempts to call the historic union into question. “This judge deliberately violated statutory law and this is unacceptable,” Rep. Tony Tinderholt, R-Arglington, said after confirming he had filed a […]

Perry’s lawyers try, try again

The circle of life keeps on keeping on. Lawyers for Rick Perry asked the court on Monday to again end the prosecution of the former governor, saying the indictment is faulty and the actions he took in issuing a veto are allowed by law. […] On Monday, Perry’s team attacked amendments that McCrum had added […]

The backlash has begun

Item one. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on Friday asked the state Supreme Court to void a marriage license issued to two Austin women who became the first same-sex couple to legally wed in the state. Sarah Goodfriend and Suzanne Bryant, who have been together for 30 years, said their vows on Thursday after state […]

First same-sex marriage in Texas happens

It may be the only one for awhile, but it will definitely not be the only one. Despite Texas’ longstanding ban on same-sex marriages, two Austin women made history on Thursday when they became the first gay couple to legally wed in the state. A judge directed the Travis County clerk to issue a marriage […]

Another judge finds Texas’ ban on same sex marriage to be unconstitutional

This ruling is a bit more narrow, however. A Travis County judge ruled Tuesday that the Texas ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional, but there was no rush to the altar after county officials — scrambling to assess the impact of the judge’s 3 p.m. order — declined to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex […]

McCrum refiles charges against Perry

Here we go again. Former Gov. Rick Perry tried to force out a local district attorney because he wanted to stymie the work of a unit she oversees that investigates public corruption involving state officials, a special prosecutor alleged Friday. The contention is at odds with Perry’s long-held assertion that he vetoed the funding for […]

No grand juror information for Perry

Sorry, Rick. A state judge Friday denied former Gov. Rick Perry’s push for a list of people whose grand-jury testimony led to his indictment on abuse-of-power charges. Judge Bert Richardson said the prosecution is not required to produce those names, which Perry’s lawyers had said he was entitled to get. […] Besides denying Perry’s motion […]

New frontiers in residency requirements

Michael Quinn Sullivan lives exactly where he says he lives, no more and no less. Empower Texans President Michael Quinn Sullivan and the Texas Ethics Commission are scheduled to tangle in state district court in Denton County for the first formal hearing in Sullivan’s appeal of a commission ruling charging him with flouting the law […]

Perry re-files motions to quash indictments

As expected. Following the cues provided in a judge’s ruling this week, lawyers for Rick Perry filed a request on Friday to get an indictment against the former governor dismissed. The new request noted “serious, well-founded concerns” that Judge Bert Richardson had in his ruling on Tuesday regarding the wording of the two charges against […]

Paxton evades prosecution

In Travis County, anyway. New Attorney General Ken Paxton, who in 2014 was found to have violated the Texas Securities Act, will not be prosecuted by the state’s office that investigates public corruption, officials said Thursday. Paxton, a former state senator from McKinney, violated the Securities Act by soliciting investment clients without being registered, as […]

The veto that keeps on giving

I haven’t closely followed the burgeoning scandal at the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, which involves no-bid contracts, up front tuition reimbursements for top level staffers, and rampant cronyism. It’s already cost three people their jobs and will likely eventually result in the HHSC Commissioner, Kyle Janek, either falling on his sword or getting […]

We need to understand why our voters didn’t vote

So now we know that Battleground Texas wasn’t pursuing a base turnout-increase model for the 2014 election, for reasons that have not yet been adequately explored. I’m mad about that, but I don’t want to get bogged down in that. I want to learn from what happened and I want to move forward, in whatever […]

On BGTX, Wendy Davis, and the future

This has been a pretty busy Christmas break, as far as blog-worthy news has gone, so in order to preserve the small illusion that I’m taking a breather and recharging my batteries, I’m just going to give three quick thoughts on this Observer postmortem of the 2014 election and Battleground Texas, which you really should […]

How much do payday lenders suck?

This much. Pursuing, or even threatening, criminal charges against payday and title borrowers is strictly prohibited by Texas law, with very few exceptions. The Texas Constitution unequivocally states, “No person shall ever be imprisoned for debt.” But new research released this morning by Texas Appleseed shows that criminal charges against payday borrowers for missing payments […]

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 […]