AUSTIN — A San Antonio senior judge confirmed Thursday that he will appoint a special prosecutor to investigate possible charges of abuse of office and coercion against Gov. Rick Perry.
Judge Robert “Bert” Richardson said he expected to select someone early next week, at which time “an order will be prepared and filed with the court.”
The investigation stems from the governor’s veto of $3.7 million in annual funding for Travis County’s Public Integrity Unit, which oversees public corruption and malfeasance complaints.
Perry acknowledged that he told Travis County District Attorney
Rosemary Lehmberg, a Democrat, he would cut off the funding if she did not resign following her DWI conviction.
Perry, a Republican, would name Lehmberg’s replacement to serve until the next election, next year.
Lehmberg did not resign, and Perry followed through with the veto. Among other cases, the unit has been investigating the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas — one of Perry’s landmark accomplishments.
CPRIT is facing allegations that research grants funded with public money were mishandled.
4After the Austin American-Statesman reported Perry’s challenge to Lehmberg, Texans for Public Justice filed a criminal complaint against the governor. The complaint cited state laws that prohibit public officials from abusing their office by coercing, bribing or oppressing others.
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