No charges to be brought against Travis Co. DA Lehmberg

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by TONY PLOHETSKI / KVUE News and KVUE.com

Bio | Email | Follow: @tplohetski

kvue.com

Posted on October 4, 2013 at 2:59 PM

Updated Friday, Oct 4 at 10:12 PM

AUSTIN -- A specially-appointed Travis County grand jury has declined to indict Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg on any criminal charge stemming from her behavior inside the Travis County Jail after her April 2013 drunk driving arrest.

Austin attorney Rick Reed filed a complaint soon after Lehmberg's arrest alleging that she was guilty of obstruction -- a third degree felony. A special prosecutor, Bill Turner, was appointed to handle the matter.

The jury convened at 8 a.m. Friday to hear evidence about whether Lehmberg abused her power inside the Travis County Jail following her arrest. At 3 p.m. they voted to bring no criminal charges against her.

In a one-page no-bill the grand jurors said, "We have inquired carefully into the case against the above named defendant, Rosemary Lehmberg, and in this said complaint we have failed to find a bill of indictment against her."

"I am not surprised, but I would not have been surprised regardless of the outcome," Reed said. "I am pleased that Mr. Turner took the complaint seriously, that he thoroughly investigated it and presented it to the grand jury, and I think that is all that I or any citizen of Travis County could ask for."

Friday afternoon Lehmberg released the following statement about the jurors' decision: "I appreciate the careful work of the Special Prosecutor and the Grand Jury and am pleased that this part of the process is completed. My staff and I will continue to stay focused on serving the people of Travis County."

 

Police arrested Lehmberg on April 12 for driving while intoxicated after a witness spotted her driving erratically on FM 620 near RM 2222.

Lehmberg's blood-alcohol level was 0.239, nearly three times the legal limit for driving.

Authorities say she was extremely combative when under arrest, kicking and spitting on officers. At one point she had to be put into a restrained chair. 

After pleading guilty to driving while intoxicated and an open container violation, Lehmberg was sentenced to jail for 45 days on April 19, and her license was suspended for 180 days.

Lehmberg served half of her sentence and was released early for good behavior. She was also fined $4,000.

Lehmberg still faces a civil lawsuit in Travis County to remove her from office. A trial date is set for later this month in that case.

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