AUSTIN -- A former employee of the Public Integrity Unit has filed an affidavit claiming that at no point was Gov. Rick Perry a target of one of the unit's most high-profile investigations.
Some have said that Perry's controversial veto of funding for the unit had nothing to do with the DWI arrest of Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg, but that Perry wanted to stop an investigation into the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas.
The affidavit from former criminal investigator Chris Walling said in part, 'At no time in CPRIT investigation was Governor Rick Perry or anyone from the Governor's office a target. At no time did I ever obtain evidence that suggested any wrongdoing on behalf of Governor Rick Perry or the Governor's office.'
The affidavit said that Walling was questioned by special prosecutor Michael McCrum about Perry's potential involvement in the CPRIT situation, and Walling told McCrum that no evidence was found to suggest any wrongdoing. Walling also said that he was never involved in an investigation targeting Perry or anyone in the governor's office during his time at the district attorney's office.
Perry is accused of abuse of official capacity and coercion of a public servant, both felonies, for his alleged threat to withhold funds from the PIU, a unit within the district attorney's office, if Lehmberg didn't step down after her DWI conviction last April.
Perry entered a 'not guilty' plea to the charges. If convicted, Perry faces up to 109 years in prison.
Perry, who was indicted last week, waived an arraignment that had been set for Friday because he is currently in New Hampshire.