LAW & ORDER

Analysis: Crime, Politics and Travis County

Gov. Rick Perry speaks to reporters on Aug. 16, the day after a grand jury indicted him on two felony counts related to his veto of public integrity unit funding.
Gov. Rick Perry speaks to reporters on Aug. 16, the day after a grand jury indicted him on two felony counts related to his veto of public integrity unit funding.

Accusations about criminalizing politics go hand in hand with indictments of political figures. But prosecutors in Travis County have fumbled enough big cases to give the officeholders they chase some room for argument.

Perry Lawyers Will Challenge Indictment Next Week

Austin attorney David Botsford speaks to the media after Gov. Rick Perry's indictment on August 18, 2014.
Austin attorney David Botsford speaks to the media after Gov. Rick Perry's indictment on August 18, 2014.

A lawyer for Gov. Rick Perry told a judge Friday that he will challenge felony charges that arose from Gov. Rick Perry's threat to veto state funding for public corruption prosecutions if the Travis County District Attorney would not resign. 

 

Attorneys Struggling to Help Migrants Navigate Legal System

A Catholic Charities shelter at Sacred Heart Church in McAllen helps hundreds of displaced immigrants who have crossed the Texas-Mexico border. Texas immigration lawyers are scrambling to coordinate representation for many of the migrants.
A Catholic Charities shelter at Sacred Heart Church in McAllen helps hundreds of displaced immigrants who have crossed the Texas-Mexico border. Texas immigration lawyers are scrambling to coordinate representation for many of the migrants.

Texas immigration lawyers are scrambling to coordinate representation for the thousands of Central American migrants who have crossed into Texas illegally. 

 

Perry Attorneys: Cancer Agency Probe Not Basis of Veto

Governor Rick Perry is led into the booking area of the Travis County Courthouse for fingerprints and photographs on August 19, 2014.
Governor Rick Perry is led into the booking area of the Travis County Courthouse for fingerprints and photographs on August 19, 2014.

The state investigation into CPRIT had nothing to do with Rick Perry's veto of $7.5 million in funds earmarked for the public integrity unit of the Travis County district attorney's office, defense attorneys for the governor said Thursday. 

 

Perry Pleads Not Guilty

A defiant Texas Governor Rick Perry speaks to supporters after his booking at the Travis County Courthouse on August 19, 2014.
A defiant Texas Governor Rick Perry speaks to supporters after his booking at the Travis County Courthouse on August 19, 2014.

Gov. Rick Perry has waived his right to appear at his arraignment hearing on Friday morning and entered a plea of not guilty to two felony counts: abuse of official capacity and coercion of a public official.

Letters Highlight Local Tension Over Increased Border Security

A Customs and Border Protection vehicle patrols on the Texas border near the Rio Grande, Thursday, July 24, 2014, in Mission, Texas. Texas is spending $1.3 million a week for a bigger DPS presence along the border.
A Customs and Border Protection vehicle patrols on the Texas border near the Rio Grande, Thursday, July 24, 2014, in Mission, Texas. Texas is spending $1.3 million a week for a bigger DPS presence along the border.

A coalition of ranchers and business owners from South Texas is pushing back against border officials who have criticized the build-up of law enforcement on the Rio Grande.

At Booking, Perry Reiterates Defense of Veto

Governor Rick Perry is led into the booking area of the Travis County Courthouse for fingerprints and photographs on August 19, 2014.
Governor Rick Perry is led into the booking area of the Travis County Courthouse for fingerprints and photographs on August 19, 2014.

After being booked on two felony counts — a process that took less than 10 minutes — Gov. Rick Perry again stood by his veto of public integrity unit funding and called his indictment "a chilling restraint on the right of free speech."

 

Timeline: The Perry Indictment

Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg refused to step down after her April 2013 drunken driving arrest, and Gov. Rick Perry vetoed funding for the public integrity unit, which is housed in the Travis County DA's office.
Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg refused to step down after her April 2013 drunken driving arrest, and Gov. Rick Perry vetoed funding for the public integrity unit, which is housed in the Travis County DA's office.

Take a look back at the events that led up to a grand jury's decision to indict Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

Aug. 22 Arraignment Summons Issued for Perry

News crews anticipated that Gov. Rick Perry would be processed on Monday, Aug. 18, 2014, at Travis County's Blackwell-Thurman Justice Center. Perry, who was indicted on charges related to his veto of public integrity unit funding, called the indictment without merit and politically motivated.
News crews anticipated that Gov. Rick Perry would be processed on Monday, Aug. 18, 2014, at Travis County's Blackwell-Thurman Justice Center. Perry, who was indicted on charges related to his veto of public integrity unit funding, called the indictment without merit and politically motivated.

UPDATED: A summons has been issued for Gov. Rick Perry to appear for his arraignment in the 390th District Court on Aug. 22 — though he doesn’t have to appear in person. 

Formidable Lawyer at Center of Perry Prosecution

Gov. Rick Perry speaks at an Aug. 16, 2014, news conference, the day after a grand jury indicted him on charges related to his veto of public integrity unit funding. "This indictment amounts to nothing more than abuse of power," Perry said.
Gov. Rick Perry speaks at an Aug. 16, 2014, news conference, the day after a grand jury indicted him on charges related to his veto of public integrity unit funding. "This indictment amounts to nothing more than abuse of power," Perry said.

Michael McCrum, the special prosecutor who secured an indictment against Gov. Rick Perry on Friday, is described by colleagues as faithful and aggressive. One thing they don't call him is partisan.

Is Traffic Surcharge Program a Trap for Texas Drivers?

Charles Farmer, a parking lot painter in the Austin area, had his driver's license suspended after missing surcharge payments under Texas' Driver Responsibility Program.
Charles Farmer, a parking lot painter in the Austin area, had his driver's license suspended after missing surcharge payments under Texas' Driver Responsibility Program.

For years, critics have called for an end to the Driver Responsibility Program. But because the program brings in millions of dollars every year, it has proved stubbornly hard to kill

Grand Jury Indicts Perry Over Integrity Unit Veto

Gov. Rick Perry, flanked by State Rep. Dennis Bonnen, R-Angleton, and Texas Adjutant General John Nichols, announces the deployment of National Guard troops to the Texas border on July 21, 2014.
Gov. Rick Perry, flanked by State Rep. Dennis Bonnen, R-Angleton, and Texas Adjutant General John Nichols, announces the deployment of National Guard troops to the Texas border on July 21, 2014.

A grand jury indicted Rick Perry on Friday, alleging he abused his power by threatening to veto funding for the state's anti-corruption unit unless Travis County DA Rosemary Lehmberg, who had pleaded guilty to drunk driving, stepped down.