Judge Robert Richardson has appointed San Antonio-based Michael McCrum as the special prosecutor in the criminal complaint against Gov. Rick Perry.
According to McCrum’s website, he served as federal prosecutor for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Western District of Texas as the San Antonio Division’s Chief of the Major Crimes Division. He now operates a private law practice, focusing primarily on criminal defense.
“I’m honored to have been appointed to this position. I consider it a very serious matter both to Governor Perry but also to the citizens of Texas,” Mr. McCrum said in a statement to YNN. “I intend to take all steps necessary and appropriate to look into the situation, to analyze what happened and why things happened the way they did in order to evaluate whether Governor Perry should be prosecuted or not.”
The complaint was filed by Texas for Public Justice, a local watchdog group, in response to the governor’s threat to veto funding for the Public Integrity Unit should Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg not resign.
Three days after making the threat, Perry vetoed the investigative unit’s two-year budget of more than $7 million.
In April of this year, Lehmberg pleaded guilty to aggravated driving while intoxicated and was sentenced to 45 days in jail. She served half that time due to good behavior. Lehmberg has stated steadfastly that she will not resign.
Texans for Public Justice claims Perry broke several laws when he made the threat to defund the Public Integrity Unity. The group’s director, Craig McDonald, told YNN last week that Perry’s threat amounts to coercion, bribery, abuse of power and official oppression.
"The governor actually crossed the line from bullying into illegal behavior,” he said. “These statutes say the governor cannot use his office in an official capacity to threaten an action or coerce an action of another person."
According to McCrum, there is no date set for the next step in the legal proceedings.