That’s what I’m gleaning from this Statesman article on Travis County DA Rosemary Lehmberg following her DWI, though it doesn’t say the July 22 trial is for her removal under state law for intoxication of public officials. (The trial is not for her DWI, for which she already plead guilty and served time.) Unfortunately, the piece by Ciara O’Rourke is hardly a model of journalistic clarity:
Judge clears way for suit to remove Lehmberg
Visiting Judge David Peeples made several rulings Tuesday in a lawsuit to remove Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg from office, including allowing another removal petition filed recently by a former district attorney candidate to proceed.
Rick Reed, who ran against Lehmberg in 2008, filed a petition two weeks ago that claims 16 counts of official misconduct ranging from coercion of a public servant to retaliation.
That and a separate petition to remove her from office on grounds of intoxication were filed under a state law that allows the removal of a district attorney on grounds of incompetency, official misconduct and intoxication on or off duty.
Lehmberg pleaded guilty to driving while intoxicated April 19, a week after Travis County sheriff’s deputies arrested her following a 911 call about a car driving for about a mile in a bike lane, swerving and veering into oncoming traffic, according to an arrest affidavit. A blood sample showed her blood alcohol level was nearly three times the legal limit.
Reed cites Lehmberg’s behavior as she was being booked in jail, including asking for Sheriff Greg Hamilton several times, as examples of her alleged misconduct.
A jury trial is scheduled for July 22, though the Travis County attorney’s office, which is representing the state, could decline to pursue the suit on either ground.
Executive Assistant County Attorney James Collins said the county attorney’s office is at this point preparing for trial on July 22, though he told Peeples that prosecutors haven’t finished reviewing Reed’s petition.
A second hearing before the trial date was scheduled for June 21, when Collins told Peeples prosecutors expect to request to test a hair sample from Lehmberg and to further test the blood sample taken after her arrest.
I’m assuming the trail is for “a separate petition to remove her from office on grounds of intoxication were filed under a state law that allows the removal of a district attorney on grounds of incompetency, official misconduct and intoxication on or off duty,” but the piece is so poorly written it’s hard to tell.
The Fox 7 report is considerably clearer: “A petition filed by County Attorney David Escamilla calls for her removal on grounds of intoxication saying Lehmberg violated Texas Government Code. Lehmberg did not appear in court Tuesday when a judge decided there will be a jury trial.”
In other news, as Dwight already reported, Governor Rick Perry is threatening to veto all state funding for the Travis County Public Integrity Unit, which Lehmberg heads as Travis County DA, unless she resigns.
But there is one good spot of news for Lehmberg: She’s no longer a suspect in a hit-and-run that happened the night of her drinking-and-driving binge.
Previous coverage here.