Click the player above to hear Dewhurst's phone call to Allen PD.
The Allen Police Department on Wednesday released a recording of a 12-minute call placed on August 3 by Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst. He was seeking the release of a relative who had been arrested on a shoplifting charge.
The issue revolved around a woman who Dewhurst identified as his "step-niece-in-law" who was jailed for allegedly walking out of a supermarket with $57 worth of groceries that hadn't been paid for.
"This is David Dewhurst, and I'm the lieutenant governor of the State of Texas," he tells the 911 operator, who forwarded the call to a police department sergeant.
"What do I need to do to arrange for getting her out of jail this evening?" Dewhurst asks the police officer.
The officer explains that the case is now in the hands of Collin County authorities and there's nothing he can do to expedite the woman's release.
"I am, every year, the number-one pick of all of the law enforcement agencies within Texas," Dewhurst tells the officer. "You don't know it, but I'm a supporter of you and a supporter of law enforcement."
Dewhurst repeatedly asks what he needs to do to get the woman out of jail, and is politely instructed by the Allen police officer to call the sheriff's office.
"This is ridiculous," Dewhurst says. "This lady, in my mind, is 100 percent innocent, and it's just an unfortunate situation of circumstances."
On several occasions, Dewhurst says the commander of the Texas Department of Public Safety will be calling to follow up on his inquiry.
"We don't decide guilt or innocence," the police sergeant calmly explains to the lieutenant governor, who then asked for the phone number of the sergeant's supervisor and of the county sheriff. The sergeant declined both requests.
The shoplifting case, which Allen police described as a Class C misdemeanor, has not been resolved.
Texas Democratic Party Chairman Gilberto Hinojosa released a written statement Wednesday night critical of Dewhurst's phone call.
“Once again Lt. Gov. Dewhurst has shown that he thinks he is beyond the rules and laws that govern regular Texans," Hinojosa said. "His call to police shows a clear attempt to use his political position for influence, intimidation, and preferential treatment."
Senator Dan Patrick issued the following statement on new reports of Lt. Governor Dewhurst's call to the Allen, Texas police department:
“I was saddened and disappointed to hear today's report that David Dewhurst attempted to use his power and influence to get a family member out of jail. The fact that David Dewhurst believes he and his family are above the law is the height of arrogance and recklessness. This blatant abuse of power would be stunning coming from any elected official. However, it is particularly disturbing coming from the Lieutenant Governor of Texas.”
Sen. Patrick is running for the Lt. Gov. seat for which Lt. Gov. Dewhurst has said he will seek re-election.