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Ear to the Ground

Gov. Rick Perry to Turn Himself In

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Posted on Aug 19, 2014

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As of Friday, Texas Gov. Rick Perry became the first occupant of his office to be indicted in nearly a century, and as of Tuesday, the Lone Star State’s top executive was ready to turn himself in to the local authorities as he stands accused of abusing his power.

Perry will carry on with his duties in the meantime—although his schedule could include posing for a mug shot, as CBS News relayed that day:

Perry on Friday became the first Texas governor since 1917 to be indicted, and is facing charges of coercion and official oppression that carry a maximum sentence of 109 years in prison for carrying out a threat to veto funding for the state’s public integrity unit last summer.

Perry faces the prospect of being fingerprinted and having his mug shot taken when he turns himself in.

The governor has emphatically stood by his veto and denied all wrongdoing. The judge overseeing the case, Republican Bert Richardson, decided against issuing an arrest warrant and instead the special prosecutor appointed to the matter, Michael McCrum, was planning a simple legal summons. That still means a booking is in Perry’s future.

[...] A grand jury in Austin, a liberal bastion in otherwise largely conservative Texas, indicted Perry for carrying out a threat to veto $7.5 million in funding for the state’s public integrity unit after Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg, a Democrat, refused to resign following a drunken driving arrest. The ethics unit is housed under Lehmberg’s office.

No one disputes that Perry has the power to veto measures approved by the Legislature, but his threat to do so before actually carrying it out prompted a complaint from a left-leaning watchdog group.

Perry isn’t being abandoned by many of his allies in his hour of trial—so far, he’s been publicly supported by other high-profile Republican governors on the national stage such as New Jersey’s Chris Christie, Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, and Florida’s former governor and enduring dynasty member Jeb Bush.

—Posted by Kasia Anderson

 

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