Friday, August 15, 2014

Governor Rick Perry: Texas. New York Times reports that he has been indicted on a charge of abuse of power. (No reference in the story to his actions in the Cameron Todd Willingham dealth penalty case. HL);

STORY: "Gov. Rick Perry of Texas is indicted on charge of abuse of power" by reporter Manny Fernandez, published by the New York Times on August 15, 2014.

GIST: Gov. Rick Perry of Texas was indicted on two felony counts on Friday by a state grand jury examining his handling of a local district attorney’s drunken driving arrest and the state financing for a public corruption unit under the lawyer’s control. The indictment was returned late Friday in Austin. The investigation centered on Mr. Perry’s veto power as governor. His critics asserted that he used that power as leverage to try to get an elected official and influential Democrat — Rosemary Lehmberg, the district attorney in Travis County — to step down after her arrest for drunken driving last year. Ms. Lehmberg is Austin’s top prosecutor and oversees a powerful public corruption unit that investigates state, local and federal officials; its work led to the 2005 indictment of a former Republican congressman, Tom DeLay on charges of violating campaign finance laws. Following Ms. Lehmberg’s arrest, Mr. Perry and his aides threatened to veto $7.5 million in state dollars for the public corruption unit in her office unless she resigned. The governor followed through on his threat, vetoing the money by stating that he could not support “continued state funding for an office with statewide jurisdiction at a time when the person charged with ultimate responsibility of that unit has lost the public’s confidence.” Mr. Perry’s detractors said that his moves crossed the line from hard-ball politics to criminal acts that violated state laws. His aides denied that he did anything wrong and said that he acted in accordance with the veto power granted to every governor under the Texas Constitution. Ms. Lehmberg resisted calls for her to resign and remains in office.........For Mr. Perry, the longest-serving governor in Texas history, the criminal investigation had the potential to mar his legacy as his tenure neared an end. Along with his blustery image as a tough-talking, pistol-packing Texan, Mr. Perry has made it a point throughout his nearly 14 years as governor to tout his ethics and Christianity. He summed up his views in a book, published in 2008, about the values he learned as a Boy Scout; it was called “On My Honor.”

The entire story can be found at:

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