A special prosecutor looking into potential misconduct committed by Gov. Rick Perry has asked for an investigator and research assistant to help build his case.
A complaint filed in Travis County District Court alleges Perry committed several crimes when he threatened to veto funding for the Public Integrity Unit if District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg refused to step down. Perry said the public could no longer trust Lehmberg following her April arrest for drunken driving.
Lehmberg refused to vacate her position, saying it was up to voters -- not Perry -- to decide who sits in the Travis County District Attorney's seat. Perry responded by making good on his threat and stripped two years of funding from the PIU, putting 31 jobs in jeopardy. The Travis County commissioners later voted to partially fund the lost state revenue to keep the PIU office functioning.
Michael McCrum of San Antonio was appointed to be a special prosecutor to investigate allegations that Perry broke the law by threatening to veto the PIU's funding. On Monday, he filed the request for help with his investigation.
“After due consideration, it is the opinion of the undersigned counsel that additional investigation is necessary to fully analyze the merit of the allegations asserted in the complaint,” McCrum wrote in his request. “The factual issues underlying the charged offenses require further investigation, research and analysis. In this regard, undersigned counsel requires the assistance of an investigator and research assistant to fully and adequately research, collect and assess all pertinent facts in order to make a fully informed decision as to how to proceed.”
The requests ask for an investigator and a research assistant to be paid at $45 per hour, not to exceed $2,500 per person.
The Public Integrity Unit is a state agency that investigates white collar crime and political corruption. Since Austin is the state's capital, the Travis County District Attorney's Office has jurisdiction over the unit.