Watchdog: Perry veto threat may be abuse of power

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Associated Press

Posted on June 15, 2013 at 10:04 AM

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Gov. Rick Perry has vetoed funding for the Public Integrity Unit charged with investigating state elected officials.

Perry said he vetoed the unit's $7.5 million two-year budget because the Travis County district attorney in charge of the unit was convicted of drunk driving. He wanted her to resign.

Critics, though, accuse Perry of trying to cut funding for investigators looking into the actions of his office.

Texans for Public Justice filed a criminal complaint with the Travis County district attorney on Friday, saying the mere threat of a veto was potential criminal offense.

District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg must now decide whether to use local fund to keep the unit operating.

If Lehmberg had resigned, Perry would have appointed her replacement.

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