Politics

Texas Governor Rick Perry Claims His Indictment is “Unjustified” and “Politically Motivated”

| by Lina Batarags

In April 2013, Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg was arrested for drunk driving after she swerved into a bicycle lane. Her blood alcohol content was 0.239 percent – almost three times the legal limit.

A jailhouse video shows the Democrat drunk and belligerent, threatening officers and kicking the door of her cell.

She repeatedly tries to pull rank in the Travis County Detention Center and tells the jailers to “call Greg," or Travis County Sheriff Greg Hamilton. Jail officers and sheriff’s deputies respond that they have spoken with Hamilton, and that he instructed them to treat her like any other drunk driving suspect.

At one point, when an officer tells her she’s been arrested for drunken driving, Lehmberg shrugs and responds, “That’s y’alls’ problem, not mine.”

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Officers eventually shackle Lehmberg’s arms, legs and hands and place a spit mask over her face.

Records indicate that she remained in the restraint for more than two hours.

Following the arrest, Lehmberg refused Texas Governor Rick Perry’s call that she step down from her office.

In response, he cut off funding for her office and vetoed $7.5 million in funding for an anti-corruption unit that is part of the Travis County district attorney’s office.

On Friday, a grand jury charged Perry with abusing the power of his office. Perry was indicted on two felony counts: abusing his official capacity and coercing a public servant.

Although Lehmberg eventually pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 45 days in jail, she remains in office. As MailOnline reports, it is Perry, a Republican, who could now be sent to prison for up to 99 years.

Perry called his indictment a violation of the “rule of law” and claimed it was unjustified and politically motivated.

“This is not the way that we settle differences, political differences in this country,” Perry said. “You don’t do it with indictments. We settle our political differences at the ballot box.”

Perry stands by his calls for Lehmberg’s resignation, citing her extremely high blood alcohol level and noting that she was “abusive” to jail staff.

Perry’s indictment comes as he is wrapping up the final few months of his tenure as the state’s longest-serving governor.

Sources: MailOnline, The Washington Post, The Daily Beast

Photo Source: MailOnline