Gov. Rick Perry is using his power to threaten a veto of funding for the state’s Public Integrity Unit unless Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg resigns.
Lehmberg, who’s openly gay, is over the unit responsible for investigating wrongdoing by state officials, but her integrity came into question when she was arrested for driving while intoxicated in April. After her arrest, she apologized and said she wouldn’t resign. Instead, she said she would seek treatment for her behavior.
She was sentenced to 45 days in jail, but was later released after serving half the sentence for good behavior.
Perry’s announcement Monday is one of several attempts to remove Lehmberg from office. Attorney Kerry O’Brien filed a request to have her removed shortly after she was arrested, but it was later dismissed.
Now former prosecutor Rick Reed, who ran against Lehmberg in 2008, has filed a criminal complaint, alleging that she engaged in various criminal acts while in custody. Lehmberg allegedly threatened and spat at offices and was belligerent during arrest.
Perry has been accused of using the funds to force Lehmberg out because he wants to fill her position with a Republican. He has until Sunday to veto bills by the Legislature.