Senate OKs moving Texas Public Integrity Unit out of Austin

AUSTIN (AP) — The Texas Senate has passed a plan to move state public corruption investigations out of left-leaning Austin and into district attorneys’ offices in the home county of elected officials accused of wrongdoing. Republican Sen. Joan Huffman’s bill makes the Public Integrity Unit part of the Texas Rangers. It was finally passed 20-11 on Thursday, a day after a debate and initial vote — and now heads to the House.

The measure has Texas Rangers investigate corruption complaints and forward cases to district attorneys where the accused official lives.

Then-Gov. Rick Perry in 2013 vetoed the Public Integrity Unit’s funding after its current chief, Democratic Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg, refused to resign following her drunken-driving conviction.

Perry was later indicted on abuse-of-power charges. That case remains pending.

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