Governor Rick Perry

Bob Daemmerich/Texas Tribune

Rick Perry's presidential campaign has stopped paying all of its staff as the Republican former Texas governor's fundraising has dried up, campaign officials and other Republicans familiar with the operation said late Monday.

Appeals Court Rejects One Count in Perry Indictment

Jul 24, 2015
Marjorie Kamys Cotera/Texas Tribune

From the Texas Tribune: A state appeals court on Friday ruled against one of two counts in the indictment against former Gov. Rick Perry

The 3rd Court of Criminal Appeals in Austin specifically found a problem with the second count, which alleges Perry coerced a public servant. The court upheld the first count, which accuses Perry of abusing his power.

Perry's legal team called the ruling a "clear step towards victory for the rule of law."

Ben Philpott/KUT

Former Gov. Rick Perry wrapped up his first 2016 presidential campaign swing yesterday with a couple of stops in South Carolina.

The crowds he drew throughout the trip were eager to hear his ideas for border security and the economy, but one looming issue remained undiscussed: his felony indictment in his home state.

Bob Daemmrich/Texas Tribune

Emphasizing his humble roots and military service, former Gov. Rick Perry made official Thursday what he has been hinting at for some time: He's running for president in 2016. 

"It's time," he said to a few hundred flag-waving supporters. "It's time to create real jobs; to raise wages; to create opportunity for all; to give every citizen a stake in this country; to restore hope — real hope to forgotten Americans."

Bob Daemmrich, Texas Tribune

Former Texas Governor Rick Perry has (as expected) declared he's pursuing the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. Perry announced first online this morning (in this web video and new website), ahead of his in-person announcement later in North Texas.

Patrick Svitek/Texas Tribune

ROCK RAPIDS, Iowa — Former Gov. Rick Perry on Monday weighed in on the latest issue to animate the GOP’s 2016 presidential field, volunteering that he would not have invaded Iraq knowing what he does now. 

Veronica Zaragovia/KUT

Gov. Rick Perry was at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in California last night, talking about next week's elections.

Perry's speech played off a 1964 speech by Reagan called – perhaps fittingly, in light of Perry’s presidential aspirations – “A Time for Choosing,” which launched the career of the “Great Communicator” and future president.

However, presidential allusion aside, the speech wasn’t Rick Perry throwing his hat into the ring for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT

A Travis County judge is giving Governor Rick Perry’s criminal defense attorneys until next Friday to file a motion to dismiss the two felony charges against him.

Perry was indicted by a grand jury in Austin on felony charges for abuse of his office. He allegedly threatened to veto funds for Travis County's Public Integrity Unit, an anti-corruption unit, unless Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg, didn’t resign in the wake of drunk driving arrest in 2013.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT News

Gov. Rick Perry, who has been using taxpayer dollars to pay his defense lawyers, will tap campaign funds from now on to compensate the attorneys who are fighting his felony indictments, his spokesman said Wednesday night.

Perry spokesman Felix Browne said the governor, who has blasted the indictments as a "farce," did not want to saddle taxpayers with the cost of a wrongful prosecution.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT News

Gov. Rick Perry has pled not guilty to charges of abuse of official capacity and coercion of a public servant, both felonies. The charges stem from Perry's threat to veto funding for the Travis County District Attorney's anti-corruption unit, unless DA Rosemary Lehmberg resigned.

The governor and his lawyers decided to waive Friday's scheduled arraignment at the Travis County courthouse. Perry's private lawyer David Botsford submitted the waiver of arraignment to the court yesterday when he was booked at the Travis County Criminal Justice Center on Tuesday.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT Austin

Scandals involving governors usually have a bit more meat to them than the one going down in Texas right now.

In Illinois in 2010, former Governor Rod Blagojevich was caught on wiretaps trying to use a vacant U.S. Senate seat for personal gain. He’s now serving a 14-year sentence in federal prison. Right now in Virginia, former Governor Bob McDonnell is facing federal charges of corruption for allegedly taking illegal gifts and loans from the CEO of a dietary supplements company. But with the felony charges against Texas Governor Rick Perry, there’s very little the public knows yet, and that’s led to some confusion.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT

On Friday, special prosecutor Michael McCrum announced a Travis County grand jury decided to indict the Texas’ longest serving governor, with two felonies – one charge of abuse of official capacity and coercion of a public servant.

When Gov. Rick Perry makes his first appearance in court (at a date to be determined) he will have the charges read to him, but likely won’t face booking in the Travis County Jail, fingerprinting or a mugshot.

Bob Daemmrich via Texas Tribune

For the first time in nearly a century, the Texas governor is facing felony charges.

Rick Perry has been indicted by a Travis County grand jury for abuse of office and coercion. The charges mean the sitting governor will be booked and arraigned (with fingerprints and a mugshot); they carry possible jail sentences up to 109 years.

At the heart of the charges is whether or not Perry abused his power by threatening to veto $7.5 million in state funding for the Travis County District Attorney's Public Integrity Unit.

How did we get here? We've collected KUT's coverage of this story up until this point to bring you up to date. It begins with the arrest of Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg last year.

Ben Philpott/KUT News

Editor's note: We are continuing to update this post with reaction and developments in this story.

A Travis County grand jury has indicted Texas Governor Rick Perry on two felony charges related to his 2013 veto of funding for the county's Public Integrity Unit.

He's charged with abuse of official capacity (a first-degree felony) and coercion of a public servant (a third-degree felony). The two felony charges are the first against a Texas governor in nearly a century, and carry possible sentences of up to 99 and 10 years respectively. 

Since he's been charged with a felony, the governor will be booked and arraigned. The date for that is likely to be set Monday. The charges could lead to a trial.

The special prosecutor behind the case, Michael McCrum, said he interviewed over 40 people and reviewed hundreds of documents and dozens of cases to make his case before the Grand Jury. "I looked at the law and I looked at the facts," McCrum said. 

Governor Perry's office responded to the charges with a statement that "the veto in question was made in accordance with the veto authority afforded to every governor under the Texas Constitution." They maintain the governor acted within the law and power of his office. 

LBJ Presidential Library and Museum

Update: President Barack Obama will give a public address during his visit to Austin this week.

Obama will be at The Paramount Theater on Thursday for a speech on the economy. Tickets are free and available to the public. They’ll be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis starting at 8:30 Tuesday morning at The Paramount (713 Congress Ave). The White House will only distribute a limited number of tickets.

Doors will open for the speech on Thursday at 9:45 a.m. Tickets are required for entry and are not for sale or re-sale. The White House says all attendees will go through airport-like security.

Original Story (July 2, 2014): Austin filmmaker Robert Rodriguez will host a fundraiser for President Obama on Wednesday, July 9, according to a Democratic Party source who wished to speak on background. Tickets for the event will range from $5,000 to the legal limit of $32,400. The proceeds will go to the Democratic National Committee.

Ben Philpott, KUT News

UPDATE: Governor Rick Perry has been indicted on two felony charges related to his veto of funding for the Travis County Public Integrity Unit. Updates can be found here.

ORIGINAL STORY (4/23/14): A Travis County grand jury is considering whether or not to indict Gov. Rick Perry over his veto of funding for the county's Public Integrity Unit.

Gov. Perry could be charged with several offenses, including bribery, coercion of a public servant, and abuse of power after vetoing more than $3 million in state money for the unit that investigates political corruption.

Perry's veto came as the result of an ultimatum given by Perry to Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg. Last April, Lehmberg was arrested for drunk driving. She pleaded guilty and served jail time, but refused to step down.

Governor Rick Perry appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live last night.

The talk show has relocated to Austin for the week of South by Southwest. Gov. Perry got a mix of cheers and boos when introduced. He hinted he may run again for president, saying “America is a great place for second chances.”

Perry and Kimmel also talked about efforts towards decriminalizing marijuana.

"For over a decade we’ve lowered the penalties," Perry told Kimmel. "We’re trying to be smart about it. You don’t want to ruin a kid’s life for having a joint.”

Photo illustration by Gage Skidmore / Todd Wiseman, Texas Tribune

When Gov. Rick Perry steps down at the end of this year, he will have awarded more than $508 million from the taxpayer-financed Texas Enterprise Fund to businesses looking to relocate to the state or expand existing operations here.

But the future of the fund, which critics call corporate welfare, is unclear. The two front-runners to replace Perry, Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott and Democratic state Sen. Wendy Davis, have offered mixed messages on the economic development fund in the past, leaving questions about whether it will extend beyond Perry's tenure. 

Todd Wiseman, Texas Tribune

TribCast: Filibuster Fallout and Exciting Future Plans by KUT News

On this week's Texas Tribune Tribcast, Reeve Hamilton, Evan Smith, Ross Ramsey and KUT's Ben Philpott discuss the fallout from last week's filibuster by state Sen. Wendy Davis (D-Fort Worth), the Voting Rights Act, the effort to impeach a university regent, and Governor Rick Perry's coming announcement of "exciting future plans."

Image by Matt Largey for KUT News

The future of the Public Integrity Unit - an arm of the Travis County's District Attorney's Office with about 600 statewide fraud cases open that was recently defunded by Gov. Rick Perry - is anything but certain. 

Today, the Travis County Commissioners Court  looked at some alternatives to fund the office, which could shutter its doors on Sept. 30 and leave 31 employees jobless.