Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst has requested that the police release a relative from jail on shoplifting charges, leading some rivals to accuse him of abusing his power.
Dewhurst called the Allen Police Department on August 3 to seek the release of his relative, who he called “sister-in-law” and “step-niece-in-law” in the same 12-minute phone conversation.
Despite identifying himself, the sergeant told Dewhurst the case had moved to the Collin County authorities and that it was beyond his jurisdiction.
"I am, every year, the No. 1 pick of all of the law enforcement agencies within Texas," Dewhurst told the officer. "I'm a supporter of you and a supporter of everybody in law enforcement."
Dewhurst pushed the officer for the county judge’s phone number, but the officer declined to provide it. The officer also refused to supply his supervisor’s phone number to Dewhurst, claiming he was not authorized to do so.
Despite Dewhurt’s seemingly aggressive behavior, Allen County Police Department Sgt. Jon Felty said Dewhurst “did not threaten anyone”.
However, rival and Texas Sen. Dan Patrick said Dewhurst’s actions were reprehensible.
"The fact that David Dewhurst believes he and his family are above the law is the height of arrogance and recklessness," Patrick said.
He added that Dewhurst’s abuse of power as an elected official was stunning.