GEORGETOWN, Texas Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst is speaking out about the August 3 phone call he made to the Allen Police Department.
He made the call on behalf of his nephew's wife, Ellen Bevers, who police had arrested for allegedly stealing $53 worth of groceries. A recording of the 12-minute conversation was released to the media.
"How would you feel if you had two family members call and they were so distraught that they could barely talk?" Dewhurst said after speaking at the Texas Conservative Leadership Symposium in Georgetown on Saturday. "I simply wanted to know what the procedures were, what could be done, if anything."
Dewhurst said he has never had a family member arrested and didn't know the rules.
"I'm the type of guy that I care for family," Dewhurst said. "I care for my friends. I care for the people of Texas, and I'm going to fight for them."
Dewhurst is running for re-election. Several of his opponents and other Texas lawmakers spoke out against Dewhurst's actions.
Texas Sen. Dan Patrick, who is challenging Dewhurst for the Republican nomination, said the phone call "highly inappropriate."
Bevers was released the morning after she was arrested on a $500 personal recognizance bond. She is charged with shoplifting.