November 13, 2008
Travis County Attorney investigating Dewhurst

Back in September, Texans for Public Justice filed a complaint with the Travis County Attorney's office, which handles misdemeanor criminal cases, including those involving state officials, alleging that Dewhurst was insufficiently forthcoming about his trust fund in his financial disclosure statements. Dewhurst is now responding to that complaint by providing information to County Attorney David Escamilla.

"We've cooperated entirely," said Dewhurst's lawyer, famed Austin defense attorney Roy Minton. "We're just in the process of showing documents to them."


In a statement in September, Dewhurst, 63, said he had followed "the advice of my expert legal counsel in filling out and filing my political financial statement to fully comply with the letter and spirit of the law, and it is a fact I do not know the assets in my trust from which I have received income in excess of $500."

But he told the AP in August that he kept abreast of his financial health at an Austin business office that rents space from his political campaign.

"A lot of times I'm over on the (political) committee side doing fundraising calls and things and then I'll have a few minutes and I'll want to go over and take a look at some recent financial numbers, see how we're doing," Dewhurst said. "We pick fund managers and hedge funds and we hold our breath and hope it does well."

Nowhere in Dewhurst's financial disclosure forms does it say the former CIA agent, through a privately held trust, is a major shareholder in a Houston energy and investment company. There's no mention of his far-flung cattle ranches, private bank investments or luxury condo. Nor is there any word of the hedge funds, stocks and bonds or publicly traded fuel distribution company he acknowledges are or have been part of a trust fund estimated to be worth up to $200 million.

It just says the David Dewhurst Trust is valued at "$25,000 or more."

The law requires the "identification of each trust asset, if known to the beneficiary, from which income was received by the beneficiary in excess of $500."

It's too early to say if this will amount to anything. But given all the other drama that's already built up for the 2009 legislative session, as well as Dewhurst's designs on higher office, and this could add up to a major distraction at the least. If I had to guess right now, without knowing anything more than this, I'd say it's likely nothing will come of this. But you never know, and even if this does go away, it may not go away quietly.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on November 13, 2008 to Show Business for Ugly People
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