Taxpayers Foot $450-An-Hour Bill For Perry’s Attorney

AUSTIN (April 15, 2014) David Botsford, the attorney Gov. Rick Perry hired to represent him in a grand jury investigation into abuse of power allegations has a $450 hourly contract and taxpayers are footing the bill.

Perry’s spokeswoman Lucy Nashed said Tuesday that using state funds is appropriate because the case involves "actions by the governor while acting in his official capacity."

A watchdog group claims Perry carried out an unlawful threat when he vetoed $7.5 million in funding for public corruption prosecutors last summer.

The state Public Integrity Unit is under the supervision of Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg, who was convicted of drunken driving last year.

Perry called for Lehmberg to resign and vetoed the funding when she didn't.

Perry’s aides say the government had the right to exercise the veto, but critics say the problem lies not with the veto, but with the threat to withdraw funding if Lehmberg didn’t resign.

A judge impaneled the grand jury Monday.

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