Police in Allen, Texas have released audio to the Dallas-Fort Worth NBC affiliate of a phone call made by Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst trying to arrange for the release of a relative who is accused of shoplifting from an area grocery store.
According to police records, Ellen Bevers, who is related to Dewhurst by marriage, was arrested on Aug. 3 for allegedly shoplifting at an area Kroger grocery store.
"What I would like to do is -- if you would explain to me, sergeant what I need to do to arrange for getting her out of jail this evening so that -- and you can proceed with whatever you think that is proper. I’m going to have Steve McCraw, who is the director, the head of the DPS in the State of Texas, call you in about 10 minutes and confirm that I am calling you," Dewhurst said.
Dewhurst tells Sgt. Maness with the Allen Police Department that every year he is the number one pick of all of the law enforcement agencies in the state of Texas. Officers then explain the procedure for getting his relative out of jail.
Dewhurst: "This lady, in my mind, is 100 percent innocent."
Maness: "(to someone else:) Can you get me the booking at Collin County? (then to Dewhurst:) Let me get you a phone number that will get you directly to booking at Collin County and they’ll be able to get more information on that."
Dewhurst: "No, no. I want the County Judge and I want the Sheriff."
Dewhurst asks if there is anything he can do:
"I intend to jump into this and see what can be done to prevent this very nice lady from a miscarriage of justice to spend the night in jail," said Dewhurst. "I may not be able to do anything, but it's whatever the law says."
Dewhurst is running for re-election in 2014 and faces several challengers in the Republican primary including Sen. Dan Patrick of Houston, who in a statement said that he is "saddened and disappointed."
"The fact that David Dewhurst believes he and his family are above the law is the height of arrogance and recklessness," Patrick said. "This is a blatant abuse of power."
Dewhurst has not been accused of any wrongdoing by police or using his office to circumvent the process of justice. His campaign office released this statement:
"The lieutenant governor was only acting as a concerned family-member."