A grand jury will be seated Monday afternoon to consider a criminal case against Governor Rick Perry.It's pretty clear that Perry used Lehmberg's DUI as an excuse to gut the Public Integrity Unit, which not only began the prosecution of former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, but also prosecuted criminal violations of state environmental law. Neither of those two things are very much popular in Rick Perry's universe, so when he saw an opportunity to target the office, he seized it, saying he would block the funding if Lehmberg didn't resign, a move that would have allowed Perry to select her replacement.
At issue is whether Perry illegally vetoed funding for the state’s Public Integrity Unit, which operates out of the Travis County District Attorney’s office.
The conflict began with Travis County D-A Rosemary Lehmberg’s drunk driving conviction last April. Perry nixed funding for the state office she ran, saying the public lost faith in her.
The Public Integrity Unit investigated allegations of wrongdoing by state elected officials. The office is still functioning, but no longer handles state cases.
Neither Lehmberg nor Travis County bended to Perry's will, so he vetoed their funding. And now a grand jury will consider whether Perry's power play was illegal, so stay tuned.