Prosecutors drop corruption case against Austin lawmaker
Oct. 23, 2017
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Prosecutors are dropping their case against Democratic state Rep. Dawnna Dukes months after the longtime Austin lawmaker was indicted on corruption charges.
Travis County District Attorney Margaret Moore said Monday the case unraveled over conflicting witness statements about whether Dukes improperly sought travel reimbursements. Moore now says felony charges "should not have been pursued."
Dukes was accused of misspending campaign funds and doctoring records, as well as directing her legislative staff to work on non-official business.
Shaun Clarke, an attorney for Dukes, says the 12-term lawmaker is relieved and chided prosecutors for "smearing" her name.
Prosecutors say Dukes repaid the state more than $1,300 in salary for a staffer who ran personal errands. Dukes also restored $5,000 in campaign funds.
Dukes first took office in 1994. She's again seeking re-election.