Politicians often face fraud and corruption charges in Texas. Although these are serious offenses, they can be complicated in nature.
A case in point is that of State Rep. Dawnna Dukes, D-Austin who was facing a white collar crime trial. Recently, Travis County prosecutors set aside felony charges against the politician.
They said they were continuing to investigate apparent new information relating to travel vouchers at issue in 13 felony counts she is facing, the Austin American-Statesman noted in September.
However, in October Travis County prosecutors confirmed they dropped their criminal charges against Dukes, saying a felony case against the state lawmaker should never have been brought.
The announcement ended a months-long legal saga in which the lawmaker was accused of abusing public office after a grand jury indicted her on 13 felony charges and two misdemeanor charges earlier in 2017. But prosecutors eventually admitted that their case against the Austin Democrat was based on flawed evidence.
District Attorney Margaret Moore told the Statesman prosecutors had new information relating to the vouchers Dukes was accused of falsifying for her own financial gain. Moore declined to elaborate on what the new information was in September. The felony case claimed Dukes unlawfully tampered with a government record by falsifying entries related to travel vouchers to obtain money for expenses she was not entitled to claim. Travis County prosecutors later admitted a key witness in the case — who managed the official paperwork at the Texas House of Representatives — had changed his story.
It’s not uncommon for politicians at a state and local level to be accused of public corruption in Texas. Often these cases crumble.
Earlier this year, we noted how a federal grand jury indictment returned charges against the city manager and attorney, mayor, the mayor pro-tem, one of three city council members and an ex-city council member in Crystal City in Texas.
They were accused of enriching themselves by soliciting and accepting bribes from people seeking to do business in Crystal City. Officials were found guilty of multiple corruption charges in June, noted MySanAntonio.
Corruption charges against politicians are serious white collar crimes. Please contact our experienced Fort Worth criminal defense lawyers if you are accused of an offense of this nature.