Police association asking Lehmberg to step down


by FOTI KALLERGIS / KVUE News and Photojournalist MICHAEL MOORE


Posted on April 23, 2013 at 8:46 AM

Updated Tuesday, Apr 23 at 9:51 AM

Should DA Lehmberg keep her position?

AUSTIN -- There's been a petition and a lawsuit. Now an Austin police organization is calling for Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg to step down from her position following her Driving While Intoxicated arrest earlier this month.

DA Lehmberg has said she will not resign. She has taken the harshest punishment of 45 days in jail.

Dash camera video from her April 12 arrest was released Monday, showing her behavior toward officers when she was arrested. During her field sobriety test she couldn't walk the line, stumbled, and at one point, needed to be held up by officers. The DA was then placed in handcuffs.

Once in the patrol car, she complained about being cuffed and demanded the deputy pull the car over. At one point she is heard asking the officer, "Do you know who I am?" The officer responded with, "Yes ma'am, I do."

Tests later showed that Lehmberg had a Blood Alcohol Level nearly three times the legal limit. The Austin Police Association is now joining others in calling for her to step down - but it's not because of the DWI.

"I don't think it's because of the arrest itself so much. I think it was the behavior afterwards. The total lack of respect for the process that she's over. Also, the veiled threats by asking about Sheriff Hamilton, those kinds of things," Wayne Vincent with the Austin Police Association said.

"I don't want Ms. Lehmberg to be drug through the public and embarrassed, but when you hold a position of power, you have a responsibility," Attorney Kerry O'Brien said.

The bad behavior didn't stop on the ride to jail. Surveillance video was released last week, showing Lehmberg kicking doors and yelling to officers. Jailers had to put a spit guard over her face, and they even placed her in a restraining chair.