Perry hires lawyer for criminal inquiry into veto threat

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by TONY PLOHETSKI / KVUE NEWS

khou.com

Posted on April 14, 2014 at 7:34 AM

AUSTIN, Texas -- 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 County grand jury is set to be seated Monday to hear evidence into whether Perry broke state laws concerning bribery, coercion and abuse of authority.

Perry had threatened to withhold the money from Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg unless she resigns after her drunken driving arrest in April 2013.

When she refused, Perry in June vetoed a state budget item that would have given a $7.5 million allocation to the Public Integrity Unit in the District Attorney’s Office. The unit investigates ethics violations against public officials.

Botsford said Sunday night, “The matter at hand pertains to the power of the governor to issue vetoes as allowed under the Texas Constitution. I have been retained to ensure that (the special prosecutor) receives all the facts, which will show that the governor’s veto was carried out in both the spirit and the letter of the law.”

 

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