A state representative is asking the Texas Legislature to override Gov. Rick Perry’s veto of funding for the Public Integrity Unit.
Meanwhile, Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg has given information to the Travis County Commissioners Court, so commissioners can “formulate any plan they deem appropriate to continue the operation of the Unit,” according to a June 18 statement by Lehmberg.
The unit has 35 employees and handles cases related to state government, such as theft of state property and corruption by state officials, because “the offenses occur in this county.” It also prosecutes cases involving insurance fraud and tax fraud.
“The Governor’s veto removed the funding for the Public Integrity Unit, but the responsibility for these cases remains with the Travis County District Attorney’s Office,” says Lehmberg’s statement.
The House Appropriations Committee on June 20 will hold a public hearing on House Concurrent Resolution 6 by Rep. Sylvester Turner, D-Houston.
The resolution asks, “That the legislature hereby approves the item of appropriation for the Public Integrity Unit . . . notwithstanding the objections of the governor.”
Turner and Lehmberg each didn’t immediately return a telephone call seeking comment, nor did anyone from the governor’s press office.
-- Angela Morris