Thursday, July 15, 2010

Travis County DA investigates Greens ballot bid

The Chron:

The Travis County District Attorney's Office has launched an investigation of the political contributions raised by the Green Party for a ballot petition drive.

In a statement to the cable news service News 8 Austin, the office said its Public Integrity Unit has the matter under review.

And at that link (video there also), John Salazar adds ...

(P)rosecutors with the Travis County District Attorney's Office have launched a preliminary investigation into possible criminal wrongdoing.

"The matter is under review, and investigators and attorneys from the Public Integrity Unit will gather additional information as that review progresses," the district attorney’s office said in a statement.

County officials would not say whether the probe was prompted by an outside complaint, but because Travis County is the seat for state government and home to Texas' political parties, local prosecutors are charged with investigating wrongdoing by state government and political officials.

Not much to divine out of the reports or the official statement.

Rosemary Lehmberg has been in the DA's office since 1976, and the last ten years serving Ronnie Earle as 1st Assistant DA until his retirement in 2008, when she was elected to replace him. BOR had an interview with her as a candidate in that primary. Her highest-profile cases to date have been the Austin Yogurt Shop murders, where the men who confessed to the crime were exonerated -- sort of -- on DNA evidence after the fact, and the capital execution of David Powell last month, where she declined, despite thousands of entreaties, to spare his life.

So while she is a partisan Democrat, she is also a law-and-order hardliner. Let's see where the investigation leads.

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