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article imageGov. Rick Perry, GOP presidential hopeful, indicted by Grand Jury

By Marcus Hondro     Aug 16, 2014 in Politics
Texas Gov. Rick Perry's hopes to win the Republican Party's nomination for president in 2016 may be all but over already. Gov. Perry was indicted by a Grand Jury late Friday on two felony counts of abuse of power.
The charges stem from a incident last year when he and his office allegedly pressured Travis County, Texas District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg to step down; this came after she had been arrested on a drunken-driving charge. It is alleged that Mr. Perry tried to get her to resign by telling her that if she did not he would veto a $7.5 million package in state funding earmarked for her public corruption unit
He went farther than threatening, he did veto the bill, openly stating at the time that he could not continue “state funding for an office with statewide jurisdiction at a time when the person charged with ultimate responsibility of that unit has lost the public’s confidence.”
It appears the indictment, the first time a governor of Texas has been charged with a crime in almost 100 years (Gov. James E. 'Pa' Ferguson was indicted in 1917 on embezzlement and other charges) could lead to the governor having to undergo a mugshot.
The felony charges against Perry are for abuse of his official capacity and coercing a public servant. When asked if part of the proceeding of booking the governor would include a mugshot, the special prosecutor assigned to the case, Michael McCrum, told media: “I imagine that’s included in that.”
The grand jury began hearing the case against Perry in April after it was brought by a group called "Texans for Public Justice." The New York Times quoted Craig McDonald, the director and founder of the group, who denied it was a partisan ploy. “The governor had no authority over the district attorney’s job,” he said.
On Saturday, Perry, 64, who has yet to announce if he will have a second run at his party's nomination for president after losing to Mitt Romney in 2012 (he dropped out early and supported Newt Gingrich) denounced the indictment and maintains he did nothing wrong.
The longest-serving governor in the history of the state (he assumed office in 2000), Perry had already announced he will not seek reelection for governor. This was widely considered to be a step along the road in his efforts to gain the party's nomination in two year's time.
With the indictment that dream may now be over.
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