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Former CPRIT Chief Officer Indicted By Travis County Grand Jury

Ryan Poppe
TPR News
Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg at the podium.

Following an investigation by the Texas Public Integrity Unit, a Travis County grand jury has indicted former CPRIT Chief Commercialization Officer Jerald Cobbs with securing a document by deception.

Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg, whose office oversees the public integrity unit, said the charges stem from an $11 million grant awarded to a company now known as Peloton, a grant that Cobbs executed without telling anyone.

"The indictment alleges that Cobbs deceived this CPRIT executive director and general counsel by failing to disclose that the grant proposal had not been reviewed and approved by the proper review committee as required by law," Lehmberg said.

Lehmberg said they were able to secure emails and documents from Cobbs’ office regarding the money. 

Attorney Greg Cox, the director of the Texas Public Integrity Unit, said Gov. Rick Perry’s veto of the unit’s budget did slow down their investigation.

"We had some re-organizing to do and lost a fair amount of our staff, but we were able get our way through it and conclude it," Cox said.

There was no comment on whether or not the governor’s office was connected to the charges. 

Cobbs faces a first degree felony which is punishable by 5-99 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Lawmakers during the past legislative session passed bills that changed oversight and operations at the embattled CPRIT.