Should Key Texas DA Sentenced to 45 Days in Jail Remain in Office?


Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg, who has been sentenced to 45 days in jail for DWI on Friday, says she will not quit her job, says the Austin American-Statesman. A driven career prosecutor who ascended to the top job in 2008 after working three decades behind the scenes, her county work has been her life. Politics are also a factor. A rarely-invoked Texas law allows prosecutors to be removed from office for drinking, and a local lawyer has filed such a petition. Her departure would allow Republican Gov. to name a successor in heavily Democratic Travis County.

It's unclear whether Lehmberg can survive professionally. Other Texas public officials convicted of drunken driving haven't spent stretches of time in jail. Her position is also especially high profile because it includes the state's public integrity unit, which prosecutes Texas public officials accused of misdeeds in office. Jail records described Lehmberg as uncooperative toward police and correctional workers after her arrest, details that could ratchet up public pressure for her to resign.

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