AUSTIN (August 22, 2013)--Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst was under fire Thursday for his effort to free a jailed relative who was arrested for shoplifting.
Dewhurst made a phone call on Aug. 3 to a police sergeant in the Dallas suburb of Allen and in a recording of the call, Dewhurst identifies himself, asks the sergeant what was needed to free his niece.
He offered to have the director of the Department of Public Safety call as well and asked for a judge's cellphone number.
The lieutenant governor also bragged about his past endorsements from law enforcement groups.
Dewhurst spokesman Travis Considine says Dewhurst "acted as a concerned family member."
Dewhurst told the police office to follow procedure, but the Texas Democratic Party, state Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, and Republican Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples all say Dewhurst abused his power.