A San Antonio senior state district judge confirmed Thursday that he will name a special prosecutor to investigate possible charges of coercion and abuse of official capacity against Gov. Rick Perry.
Judge Robert “Bert” Richardson said he expected to name someone early next week, at which time “an order will be prepared and filed with the court.”
The investigation stems from the governor’s veto of $3.7 million annual funding of Travis County’s Public Integrity Unit.
Perry acknowledged that he let it be known that if Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg, a Democrat, did not resign her office following a DWI conviction, that he would cut off funding for the integrity unity.
Perry, a Republican, would name Lehmberg’s replacement.
Lehmberg did not resign and Perry subsequently vetoed funding for the unit, which prosecutes corruption and public malfeasance. Among other cases, the unit has been investigating the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas — one of Perry’s landmark accomplishments. CPRIT is facing allegations of favoritism and mismanagement of public funding.
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