Travis County DA Faces Ouster from Office After DWI Conviction

In April, Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg was arrested and charged with driving while under the influence of alcohol. The arrest, while surprising and painfully ironic, was not the only thing that made headlines. Her actions during the stop and after she was taken into custody have contributed to what has become a political (and legal) firestorm.

Some people in the legal community expected her to resign, but Lehmberg has refused to do so. According to an ABC report, she pleaded guilty to the DWI charge, and her law license was suspended for 180 days. She also reportedly went to rehab to resolve an alcohol dependency problem, and has since issued a public apology acknowledging her behavior and insisting that she has spent a great deal of time making amends for it.

Nevertheless, an attorney from Austin filed a petition to have her removed from office. Now a judge is presiding over a civil trial to decide that very question. The case is a poignant reminder that everyone, regardless of their position in society or public office is immune to the laws of the State of Texas.

During the trial, witnesses testified to how Lehmberg asked arresting officers “Do you know who I am? Why do you have me handcuffed?” Also, video at the police station shows her stomping, kicking and needing to have a spit guard applied because of her continuing bizarre behavior.  

Those who are prosecuting the case believe that she is unfit for office and could harm the public interest if she remains as District Attorney.  It remains to be seen whether Lehmberg testifies on her own behalf or whether she is forced to resign.

Source: ABC, “District Attorney fights for job in civil trial after DWI conviction,” Linsey Davis, December 10, 2013

Posted in Criminal Defense

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