There’s a show of support this afternoon for Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg, who’s in the county jail after pleading guilty to a charge of driving while intoxicated.
A group of more than 175 lawyers called Friends of Rosemary Lehmberg filed a friend of the court brief calling for Lehmberg to remain in office and serve out her term as district attorney.
“We are here today to support Rosemary, to say that she has taken the harshest punishment for a first offense DWI," Austin criminal defense attorney Betty Blackwell said outside the Travis County civil courthouse. "She quickly entered her plea. She has waived all rights of appeal and to probation. She is getting no special treatment for her sentence that she is serving.”
The filing is in response to a petition calling for Lehmberg to be removed from office. This week, a judge allowed that petition to move forward.
"What these lawyers are filing is essentially a community petition signed by 100 people," Kerry V. O'Brien, the attorney who filed the petition to remove Lehmberg, said in an email. O'Brien says a Facebook page called Remove Rosemary Lehmberg is "adding about 130 people per day."
Below, an excerpt from the amicus brief:
"Rosemary Lehmberg has had an extraordinary 36-year career as a Travis County prosecutor, an Assistant District Attorney, and since 2009, as District Attorney. Unquestionably she has developed and maintained one of the best district attorney’s offices in the United States. She served as chief prosecutor in Judge Tom Blackwell’s 167th District Court. She also served as chief of other major divisions in the District Attorney’s office—including the Career Criminal Division, the Major Crimes Division, and the Public Integrity Division. She founded the Travis County Children’s Advocacy Center, and for her work on behalf of child abuse victims, she was named Best Lawyer for Children’s Issues. Under her leadership the Public Integrity Unit has successfully prosecuted both Democrats and Republicans who have violated the public trust."