A San Antonio judge on Tuesday was assigned to hear a complaint that alleges Gov. Rick Perry committed coercion, bribery and official oppression by vetoing funding for the Travis County District Attorney’s Public Integrity Unit.
Senior Judge Robert Richardson of the 379th District Court will hear the complaint, which was filed byTexans for Public Justice after the Austin American-Statesman reported that Perry threatened to veto funding for the unit unless embattledTravis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg resigned.
Lehmberg recused herself from hearing the complaint in late June, and it was assigned to Judge Julie Kocurekof the 390th District Court in Travis County. Kocurek then also recused herself, and on Tuesday, 3rd Circuit Presiding Judge Billy Ray Stubblefield assigned the case to Richardson, who was defeated in 2008.
See here for more on the complaint. I thought at first that the first sentence in that last paragraph above contained an error, then I realized that the complaint had been filed with the Travis County DA’s office, so of course Lehmberg had to recuse herself, and her office, from deciding whether or not it merited further investigation. I presume handing such things off to a judge is the standard procedure in this kind of situation. I have no idea what kind of hearing there will be, whenever one is set. Who actually presents the case for the complaint, and is there some kind of defense representative? If the judge decides there’s something actionable here, who would then handle the case? My guess would be the Travis County Attorney, but I have no idea about the other questions. I’d love to hear from the lawyers about that. Texas Vox has more.