Perry's Presidential Bid Hampered by Tangle Over Texas Corruption Unit

Image: Perry's Presidential Bid Hampered by Tangle Over Texas Corruption Unit

Thursday, 17 Apr 2014 07:18 AM

By Elliot Jager

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
Texas Gov. Rick Perry's hopes to capture the 2016 Republican presidential nomination are being overshadowed by a political and legal controversy involving a local district attorney, The New York Times reported.

In April 2013, Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg, admitted to charges of drunken driving. Among Lehmberg's responsibilities is supervision of the Public Integrity Unit, which investigates political corruption. Travis County includes Austin, the  state capital.

Perry vetoed $7.5 million in state spending for the unit in an effort to pressure Lehmberg to resign. Had she done so, the governor would have appointed her successor. Perry argued that the unit had lost the public's confidence under Lehmberg's stewardship.

The governor's moves against the Public Integrity Unit has become the focus of an investigation by a special state prosecutor. Former federal prosecutor Michael McCrum was appointed by a judge to examine whether Perry might be guilty of abusing his power.

McCrum said, "I cannot elaborate on what exactly is concerning me, but I can tell you that I am very concerned about certain aspects of what happened here. I have not prejudged this. We're still looking into matters to evaluate whether or not a crime has occurred. Governor Perry expects that. The citizenry of Texas expects that. And I intend to look into this as thoroughly as possible," according to the Times.

When Perry blocked funding of the Public Integrity Unit it was in the process of investigating corruption in the publicly funded Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas. The unit faced allegations of favoritism and mismanagement and a former officer was indicted for mishandling an $11 million grant, the Times reported.

Lehmberg is still the district attorney. County officials have used local funds to keep the Public Integrity Unit operational while cutting the number of employees to about 22 from 35, according to the Times.

Perry is the longest-serving governor in Texas history. He has been campaigning nationally by pointing to his economic accomplishments at home. His 2012 presidential bid failed to gain traction.

Calvin Jillson, author of "Texas Politics: Governing the Lone Star State" told the Times, "This is one of those cases where you're trying to criminalize politics." Perry "thought that he saw a political opponent weakened and that he would tip her over. It was hardball politics, but it was by no means criminal activity."

Related Stories:

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Retype Email:
Country
Zip Code:
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
You May Also Like

Ed Schultz: Work Permits for Illegals Would Be 'Death' for Dems

Wednesday, 30 Jul 2014 23:05 PM

Liberal MSNBC host Ed Schultz warns that it will be "an electoral death knell for the Democrats" if President Barack Oba . . .

Low Voter Turnout in Primaries Has Dems Especially Worried

Wednesday, 30 Jul 2014 20:37 PM

Sharp declines in voter turnout for primaries in 25 states have both parties worried, but the situation is dire for Demo . . .

Quinnipiac Poll: Kasich Maintains Double-Digit Lead in Ohio

Wednesday, 30 Jul 2014 16:10 PM

With less than 100 days to go until the Nov. 4 election, Ohio looks like a shoo-in to remain in the Republican column wh . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved