AUSTIN (April 14, 2014) Special State District Judge Bert Richardson was seating a grand jury Monday in an investigation into whether Republican Gov. Rick Perry abused his power by vetoing funding for public corruption prosecutors after a district attorney convicted of DWI refused to resign.
The investigation began after Perry vetoed $7.5 million in funding last summer for a public integrity unit under Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg.
Perry called on Lehmberg to resign after the Democrat was convicted on drunken-driving charges.
When she refused, Perry pulled state funding for the unit.
Richardson hired a special prosecutor to investigate following a complaint from a public watchdog group.
Aides to Perry didn't return calls seeking comment, but his office has said Perry was within his rights to veto any bill.
Critics, however, say the problem doesn’t lie in the veto, but in the threat to kill funding.