|August 24, 2013||Mewhurts gets third strike||3 comments|
First, Mewhurts flounders during the U. S. Senate primary to Tea Party Ted Cruz even though he had a multi-million campaign war chest.
Second, Mewhurts fowls out again during the legislative special session when Wendy Davis successfully filibusters anti-abortion legislation.
And for Mewhurts’ third strike:
ALLEN — The Allen Police Department on Wednesday released a recording of a 12-minute call placed on August 3 by Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst. One of the most powerful politicians in the State of Texas 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 an Allen Kroger store with $57 worth of merchandise that hadn't been paid for.
Ellen Bevers, a 46-year-old first grade teacher, had been arrested at 6:30 p.m. Dewhurst called a non-emergency police line four hours later, around 10:30 p.m.
"This is David Dewhurst, and I'm the lieutenant governor of the State of Texas," he tells the dispatcher, 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 Collin County judge and sheriff. The sergeant declined both requests.
Allen Police Department spokesman Sgt. Jon Felty said every department policy was followed.
"Our procedure was followed to the letter, nothing was done that should not have been done. No favors granted, anything of that nature," he said.
Felty also commended the officer who spoke with Dewhurst. "He handled it professionally. He knew who he was talking to, obviously, and he didn't handle it any different than he would have for any other citizen for the state of Texas."
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."
Earlier this month, Dewhurst announced his intention to run for re-election.
TEX PE. CODE ANN. § 36.03 : Texas Statutes - Section 36.03: COERCION OF PUBLIC SERVANT OR VOTER
a) A person commits an offense if by means of coercion he:
(1) influences or attempts to influence a public servant in a specific exercise of his official power or a specific performance of his official duty or influences or attempts to influence a public servant to violate the public servant's known legal duty; or
(2) influences or attempts to influence a voter not to vote or to vote in a particular manner.
(b) An offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor unless the coercion is a threat to commit a felony, in which event it is a felony of the third degree.
(c) It is an exception to the application of Subsection (a)(1) of this section that the person who influences or attempts to influence the public servant is a member of the governing body of a governmental entity, and that the action that influences or attempts to influence the public servant is an official action taken by the member of the governing body. For the purposes of this subsection, the term "official action" includes deliberations by the governing body of a governmental entity.
Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974. Amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 67, Sec. 1, 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1989; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994.