Prosecution requests more time in Dawnna Dukes case

State Representative Dawnna Dukes in court on Friday, June 30, 2017. (Nexstar Photo/Wes Rapaport)
State Representative Dawnna Dukes in court on Friday, June 30, 2017. (Nexstar Photo/Wes Rapaport)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The State of Texas is requesting more time for felony charges in the corruption case of Rep. Dawnna Dukes.

The State filed a motion of continuance with the Travis County District Court, after it discovered a witness from the House Business Office had provided a letter to Dukes’ defense team in January, saying a member of the House of Representatives is not required to physically work in the Capitol building in order to receive per diem payments between legislative sessions. The prosecution wanted more time to build up its case in light of the new information.

Dukes is accused of corruption, including 13 felony charges, for allegedly tampering with a governmental record by making false entries on State of Texas travel vouchers that said she traveled to the Capitol outside of the legislative session. Those vouchers reimbursed her for expenses she was allegedly not supposed to get.

Other misdemeanor charges allege she misused public funds for her personal gain and converted campaign funds to personal use by depositing campaign reimbursement checks into her personal account. She also allegedly requested a staffer get a pay raise so that person could drive Dukes’ child around during working hours.

Dukes’ trial is still set for Oct. 16 to address the misdemeanor charges. It’s unclear when the judge would rule on the motion of continuance for the felony charges.

Last month, Travis County District Judge Brad Urrutia said two attorneys who represent Dukes will have to remain on the case even though they filed a motion to withdraw from the case. Dukes was also offered a plea deal in the case at the beginning of August, but never responded.

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