Perry Victory: Court Tosses One Corruption Charge

The Texas State Court of Appeals today tossed out one of the two felony counts against former Governor Rick Perry.  The Court found that the law, which charged Perry with coercion of a public official, violated his right to free speech.

Count two of the April 15, 2014 indictment accused Perry of threatening to veto legislation meant to provide funding for the continued operation of the Public Integrity Unit of the Travis County District Attorney’s Office — unless Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg resigned from her official position as elected District Attorney.

Special Prosecutor Michael McCrum has not yet decided if he will appeal the decision to the Texas Supreme Court, but seems determined to proceed on the remaining charge, predicting a trial by the end of the year.  Perry’s defense team, however, could drag things out by appealing the Court’s decision to uphold count one.

Delay might be an attractive option for Perry, who is running for the Republican presidential nomination in a crowded field.  He presumably does not want this issue detracting voter interest away from his campaign.  On the other hand, he has been eclipsed by most of the other candidates so far – in particular reality-TV performance artist Donald Trump.  So perhaps Perry will find truth in the old adage that any publicity is good publicity.

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