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State Judge Says Governor Perry Can’t Skip All Court Hearings

Travis County Jail

A state judge overseeing Texas Governor Rick Perry’s criminal proceedings related to his threat of a veto says the Governor must appear during some of the pre-trial court dates. The Governor’s legal team had requested that their client be excused from all pre-trial hearings because of his position.

Governor Perry's legal team requested San Antonio State Judge Bert Richardson allow their client to skip all pre-trial hearings going forward in his criminal case. Perry is accused of abusing the power of his office by attempting to coerce Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg to resign from her position as the head of the State’s Public Integrity Unit. Attorney Brian Wice says this type of request for active public officials is quite common. Wice is the attorney representing former Congressman Tom DeLay in his criminal case involving money laundering of his campaign funds.

Wice said, “There is absolutely no point and in fact it’s counterproductive. Rick Perry is not your prototypical criminal defendant and I think that Judge Bert Richardson, the presiding judge recognizes that, recognizes that any time there is going  to be a hearing in this case one that would require the governor to be present, it’s going to be a circus.”

The special prosecutor assigned to the case, San Antonio attorney Michael McCrum, in his response to the request writes Governor Perry is making a mockery of the court system by seeking special favors and that he didn’t think the governor should be treated differently than any other citizen facing trial. In his decision, Judge Richardson said Governor Perry would not be required to attend the upcoming Oct 13th hearing, but would not be excused from all notices to appear in court.