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Government & Public Policy

Perry's Legal Team Releases Findings That Veto Had Nothing To Do With CPRIT Investigation

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Ryan E. Poppe
/
TPR News

Indicted Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s legal team is dismissing accusations that the governor’s veto of the state public integrity unit’s budget was related to another ongoing investigation involving the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas.   

At the time of Perry’s veto, there was also an ongoing investigation of  CPRIT. Tony Buzbee, Perry’s lead counsel, said there has been public insinuations that the two are related but they have signed testimony from Chris Walling, the former lead investigator for the public integrity unit, that the CPRIT investigation had nothing to do with the governor. 

Buzbee read from Walling’s testimony:

“At no time did I ever obtain evidence that suggest any wrongdoing on behalf of Governor Rick Perry or the governor’s office. Any suggestion that Governor Rick Perry or anyone associated with him was being investigated is untrue.”

One of the governor’s other attorney,s Ben Ginsberg, said the CPRIT investigation is a "red herring" floated by the Texas Democratic Party.

“CPRIT is important and critical to the Democrats in trying to say there was something there, that there was some motivation for the veto other than what the governor said as an improper use of funds,” Ginsberg said.

On December 6, 2013, the public integrity unity stated that they had completed their investigation into CPRIT and that there would be no actions taken other than the indictment of a former CPRIT official, who was appointed by Perry.  

Last Friday, Perry was indicted on two felony counts relating to abusing the power of his office and coercion related to the veto of the state public integrity unit’s budget.  

Perry's legal team contends the governor's actions were motivated by Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg's behavior on the night of her drunk driving arrest and were not related to any other matter.