In effort to help relative in jail, Dewhurst puts minor crime in bright spotlight

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by DAVID SCHECHTER

Bio | Email | Follow: @davidschechter

WFAA

Posted on August 22, 2013 at 6:35 PM

Updated Thursday, Aug 22 at 11:23 PM

ALLEN -- Texas Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst is taking heat after making a call to Allen Police in an attempt to bond a relative out of jail.

During the call, he drops his name and title several times.

His nephew's wife, a school teacher in Allen, had just been arrested for stealing $50 worth of items from Kroger -— things like cleaning and school supplies.

Thursday, the Allen Police Department handed the shoplifting case over to the Collin County District Attorney.

Dewhurst is not accused of any crime, but his judgment has come into question.

In addition to using his own name and title, on two occasions Dewhurst told an officer that the top man at the Department of Public Safety (DPS) would also be calling. The DPS says that call never happened.

"I'm going to have Steve McCraw - who is the director, the head of DPS in the State of Texas - call you, by name, in about 10 minutes,” Dewhurst said.

In his attempts to make things better for his relative, Ellen Bevers, Dewhurst likely made things much worse by publicizing an otherwise minor criminal allegation.

Bevers is a first grade teacher at Green Elementary where, the district says, she is still employed.

Dewhurst's fellow state lawmakers, like Representative Cindy Burkett of Garland, were eager to avoid the spotlight the lieutenant governor shined on himself.

"I think we want everyone to be treated equally in the State of Texas in any situation they're in," she said. "So that might be a better question for the lieutenant governor.”

At the end of Dewhurst’s call, an Allen officer offers to expedite the transfer of Bevers from the city jail to the county jail -- a step that would allow Dewhurst to begin the process of bailing her out.

"The most I can do for you on my end, is I can have a unit go ahead and transport her up there so that process can get started,” the officer said.

Allen police say that's a common offer when a family member calls, eager to get a loved one out of jail.

"We would do that for anybody,” said Sgt. Jon Felty, the public information officer for the Allen Police Department.

The trouble for David Dewhurst is, he isn't just anybody.

E-mail dschechter@wfaa.com

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