Travis County Attorney David Escamilla said Wednesday he has looked into recent allegations by a Houston attorney against the special prosecutor in the case against Gov. Rick Perry and will not investigate further.
Escamilla said he found no evidence prosecutor Michael McCrum violated state laws or county policies regarding theft, abuse of authority or honorariums in the hourly rate McCrum is receiving from Travis County for his work in the case.
Houston defense lawyer David Rushing, former chairman of Young Conservatives of Texas, had alleged McCrum was illegally receiving more than he should by billing the county $300 an hour — a rate McCrum recently voluntarily reduced to $250 per hour after hiring a second prosecutor. That reduction came prior to Rushing’s complaint.
McCrum’s fees are higher than what court-appointed defense lawyers generally earn, but county rules permit larger hourly rates in unusual cases.
In a letter to Rushing, Escamilla said McCrum’s rates were approved by a judge in the case.
See here for the background. This felt like a nothingburger, especially given Rushing’s history of hackery, but it’s good to have some official confirmation. I’m not saying this couldn’t have been a point of contention, but honestly, you’d think someone might have brought it up before now. Given all the paperwork Rick Perry’s lawyers have generated so far, surely they would have jumped on this if they’d thought it would go somewhere. The next status hearing, the one Perry doesn’t have to attend, is today, where Judge Richardson will get to deal with yet another motion by Perry’s defense team. Looks like we’re back to our regularly scheduled programming on this now. Houston Politics has more.