Grand Jury Indicts Perry Over Integrity Unit Veto

Style Magazine Newswire | 8/15/2014, 5:57 p.m.
A grand jury indicted Gov. Rick Perry on Friday on charges of abuse of power and coercion.
Governor Perry

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 a ethics complaint was filed, alleging that Perry had improperly used a veto to deny funding for the unit, which is housed in the Travis County district attorney’s office and focuses on government corruption and tax fraud.

After District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg pleaded guilty to drunken driving last year, Perry threatened to withhold $7.5 million in funding over two years for the integrity unit if Lehmberg did not resign.

Lehmberg, a Democrat, served a jail sentence but did not resign. Perry made good on his promise and vetoed the state budget’s funding line item for the unit. Though Perry has the authority to veto items in the budget, his critics said that this was done expressly for political purposes and is a crime.

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