AUSTIN -- A Travis County citizen has filed a petition seeking the resignation of Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg. The comes following Lehmberg's arrest for driving while intoxicated.
Deputies arrested her early the morning of Saturday April 13 in a church parking lot off RM 620. Another driver noticed her swerving into other lanes of traffic and called 911.
In arrest papers, the deputy indicated that Lehmberg's eyes were bloodshot, her speech slurred and balance wobbling. She refused a breath and field tests; a blood search warrant was obtained.
Lehmberg admitted that she's guilty and says she will plead guilty.
Despite the DWI charge, Lehmberg says she will carry on in office. In a statement released on April 13, Lehmberg said: “I am truly sorry to have let the citizens of Travis County down. I deeply regret my actions and take full responsibility. As I continue to carry out my responsibilities as district attorney, I hope that the community will forgive my mistake."
However Kerry O'Brien, who filed the petition, doesn't think Lehmberg should remain in office. The document states in part:
"Pursuant to Texas Local Government Code Section 87, a district attorney may be removed from office for intoxication on or off duty caused by drinking an alcoholic beverage. Lehmberg has already admitted that she was intoxicated and all indications suggest that it was caused by drinking an alcoholic beverage. Her forthcoming guilty plea will demonstrate such as a matter of law.
While the removal law could be abused by overzealous citizens for political purposes, such is not the case here. As a prosecutor with over 35 years of experience prosecuting drunk drivers, Lehmberg was well aware of the extreme danger of getting behind the wheel of a car intoxicated and driving it at night on public roads. Lehmberg violated the public trust, demeaned her office and created a substantial risk of injury to others. The fact that Lehmberg had an open container of vodka within her passenger compartment and refused to cooperate with the responding officers further demonstrates an inherent disrespect for the public safety laws she is charged with enforcing. Under the circumstances, Lehmberg has demonstrated that she should be removed from the office to which she was elected."