Following the cues provided in a judge's ruling this week, lawyers for Rick Perry filed a request on Friday to get an indictment against the former governor dismissed.
The new request noted "serious, well-founded concerns" that Judge Bert Richardson had in his ruling on Tuesday regarding the wording of the two charges against Perry: abuse of official capacity and coercion of a public servant.
"Governor Perry asserts that the deficiencies set forth below constitute defects of form and substance," David Botsford, an attorney for Perry, says in the new motion.
While Richardson has allowed the case to proceed, he noted in his ruling this week that both counts were vague. Richardson wrote that the first count failed to state how Perry misused the funds by exercising his power to veto legislation. And in the second, Richardson questioned how the coercion charge, as written, failed to account for an exception to the charge Perry is allowed based on his gubernatorial authority.
On Aug. 15, Perry was indicted on one count of abuse of official capacity and one count of illegally coercing a public servant, after he threatened to veto funds a year earlier to the Travis County district attorney’s office following DA Rosemary Lehmberg’s drunken driving arrest.
Lehmberg, a Democrat, refused to step aside and Perry vetoed $3.7 million to the state’s public integrity unit, which is housed in the Travis County district attorney’s office.
Richardson, a Republican, was elected last November to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. He is permitted to continue hearing the Perry case as a visiting judge.