Perry will veto Integrity Unit funds unless Lehmberg resigns

This could be checkmate for Rosemary Lehmberg.

Rosemary Lehmberg

Gov. Rick Perry will veto financing for the public integrity unit — the state’s ethics enforcement division — unless embattled Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg resigns, an official close to the governor said Tuesday.

The Austin American-Statesman reported Monday night that Perry would use a line-item veto to cut funding for the unit unless Lehmberg, who was convicted and served jail time for drunken driven this past spring, steps down.

So far, Lehmberg has declined to do that, and Democrats are concerned that if she does, Perry would be able to choose her replacement.

“Ultimately this is Rosemary’s decision,” said state Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin. “If she decides to resign, I will work with the governor’s office to make sure that whoever is appointed to that position is someone who represents Travis County appropriately.”

The deadline to veto bills, including line items in the state budget, is this weekend. Perry spokeswoman Allison Castle said the governor’s office is “going through the budget line by line, and the governor has deep concerns over the integrity of the Public Integrity Unit.”

The Statesman story is behind their new paywall, which unlike the Dallas Morning News doesn’t appear to be subverted via a Google News search. I’ve been of the opinion that Lehmberg’s crime doesn’t necessitate resignation, but unless there’s something else to this Perry has the trump card. It would be better for Lehmberg to resign and a new DA to be elected next year than for her to risk the funding of the Public Integrity Unit. If Sen. Watson can work with Perry’s office to name a replacement – I’ve said before that allowing Travis County Commissioners Court to nominate a replacement would be a good idea – then so much the better. It would be unfortunate for Lehmberg if it comes to this, but the office is bigger than she is. Texas Politics, Juanita, and Texpatriate have more.

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4 Responses to Perry will veto Integrity Unit funds unless Lehmberg resigns

  1. Audrey Reed says:

    Don’t resign! Then Perry will b held accountable for his actions when election time comes. If she resigns, then it’s like he didn’t do anything wrong in this situation. Don’t resign. Don’t be bullied.

  2. PDiddie says:

    Rick Perry’s always-questionable motives aside, Lehmberg lost control of her fate the moment she got behind the wheel, and then only made things worse when she acted like an ass after she got busted.

    It is all. on. her.

  3. John says:

    I hate Perry but I think he is in the right on this one. So drunk she was unaware of her surroundings, half full bottle of vodka in your. I think that crime (especially for a DA) says you have to resign. Plus if anyone watched the video (it was on Statesman’s website) it was a joke how drunk and obnoxious she was. Just because she was lucky enough not to have caused an accident her crime is inexcusable. Why is MADD not out making a big stink about this one?

  4. Pingback: Eye on Williamson » The GOP vs. the PIU

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