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Following Inconclusive Harassment Inquiry, State Sen. Charles Schwertner Gives Up Chairmanship

State Sen. Charles Schwertner, R-Georgetown, on the floor of the Senate in April 2017.
Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune
State Sen. Charles Schwertner, R-Georgetown, on the floor of the Senate in April 2017.

After facing sexual harassment allegations, state Sen. Charles Schwertner has told the Senate's leader he no longer wants his post as chair of the powerful health and human services committee.

In a letter sent to Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick on Friday, the Georgetown Republican indicated he planned to remain in the Senate but no longer wished to serve as a chairman, according to a source familiar with the matter.

Schwertner, a physician, won re-election to the Senate in November after the University of Texas at Austin opened an investigation into allegations that the senator sent lewd messages to a graduate student. UT-Austin ended its investigation in December, concluding that the “available evidence does not support a finding” against Schwertner but did not clear him of any wrongdoing.

Schwertner has denied sending the messages.

This developing story will be updated.


From The Texas Tribune

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Alexa Ura covers politics and demographics for The Texas Tribune, where she started as an intern in 2013. She previously covered health care for the Trib. While earning her journalism degree at the University of Texas at Austin, she was a reporter and editor for The Daily Texan. A Laredo native, Alexa is a fluent Spanish-speaker and is constantly seeking genuine Mexican food in Austin.