Public Integrity Unit

Ryan E. Poppe

 

The final gavel comes down on the state legislature today, as Texas lawmakers end their five-month session. Legislators had 140 days to move on key pieces of legislation, but needed a final working weekend to get for some of the more controversial bills across the finish line.

On Friday, lawmakers agreed on the one bill they had to pass — a two-year state budget. The more than $209 billion spending plan includes property tax relief, more money for more Department of Public Safety troopers along the border, and $30 million to restore the Alamo Complex in San Antonio.

Ryan E. Poppe

 

One of the main functions of the state’s public integrity unit is to investigate political crime and public corruption.  A bill that would strip that power away gets initial approval in the Texas House on a 91 to 54 vote.

 

The legislation by Weatherford Republican Representative Phil King transfers all political investigations over to the Texas Rangers and has the cases heard in the home county of the accused state official.  

 

Judge Refuses To Toss Out Case Against Rick Perry

Jan 27, 2015
rickperry.org

AUSTIN — A Texas judge on Tuesday refused to dismiss a felony abuse-of-power case against former Gov. Rick Perry on constitutional grounds.

He ruled that criminal charges against the possible 2016 Presidential candidate should stand.

District Judge Bert Richardson, who like Perry is a Republican, rejected calls from Perry’s defense team to toss the case, because its client was acting within his rights as chief executive of America’s second-most populous state when he publicly threatened, then carried out, a 2013 veto of state funding for public corruption prosecutors.

Ryan Poppe / TPR News

Following an investigation by the Texas Public Integrity Unit, a Travis County grand jury has indicted former CPRIT Chief Commercialization Officer Jerald Cobbs with securing a document by deception.

Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg, whose office oversees the public integrity unit, said the charges stem from an $11 million grant awarded to a company now known as Peloton, a grant that Cobbs executed without telling anyone.