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State Rep. calls for Rosemary’s resignation on House floor

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From the Texas House Floor, Republican Phil King called for the resignation of the Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg.

Earlier this month, the county's top criminal prosecutor was taken to jail after a citizen observed Lehmberg driving in and out of the bicycle lane in western Travis County. Her blood alcohol level was nearly three times the legal limit.

"What appeared to be utter contempt and disrespect for the law and for the office," Rep. King said from the House floor Friday.

One week after her arrest, Lehmberg pleaded guilty to driving while intoxicated and was sentenced to 45 days in jail.

The jailed DA also heads the state Public Integrity Unit—a law enforcement organization in charge of prosecuting public officials who step out of line.

With the attention of the House chamber, King said Lehmberg stepped out of line herself, which he says can be seen in the hours video footage from her arrest. (Read a statement from King here.)

"When they have to be strapped down with their hands to the chair, when they have to have their legs restrained and they have to have a spit cloth put over their face,” Rep. King said. “That behavior, that they are displaying, is exceptionally inappropriate."

King discussed moving the Public Integrity Unit out of Travis County's jurisdiction, which is a left-leaning voting bloc. According to political insider Harold Cook, GOP politics are at the forefront.

"They're taking advantage of the situation,” Cook said. “They're looking to capitalize on Rosemary Lehmberg’s mistake."

Lehmberg said she won't step down upon her release, and before power can be stripped from the Public Integrity Unit, the Texas Constitution would be need to be revised.

"Both parties have attempted to take away jurisdiction away from the Travis County DA, but again they can't do it, with legislation alone, it has to be legislation plus a constitutional amendment," Cook said.

Petitions to remove the DA from her office have been filed.
If Lehmberg loses her seat or chooses to step down, Gov. Perry could appoint a new district attorney.

This weekend, Lehmberg issued another apology from jail. Read it here.

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