AUSTIN (KXAN) - Travis County Attorney David Escamilla is asking a judge to temporarily remove District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg from office while a court action proceeds that could lead to her permanent ouster.
In documents filed with the 98th State District Court on Monday, Escamilla dismissed the petition by private lawyer Kerry O'Brien seeking to remove Lehmberg because of events relating to her April 12 arrest for driving while intoxicated. And in its place, Escamilla offered his own case for handling Lehmberg's status.
"I have the power to do whatever I think is best for the people of this community," Escamilla said in an email to reporters.
O'Brien, meanwhile, suggested that Escamilla's move was an effort arrive at a settlement with Lehmberg that would allow her to serve out her term, which expires after the 2016 elections.
"The case should go to a jury on the sole question brought in the lawsuit," O'Brien said. "I will be monitoring the County Attorney's actions in the case very closely and providing updates on the Remove Rosemary Lehmberg Facebook page. The standards of this community are at stake, and I will do whatever I can to make sure we actually have some.
Lehmberg, a Democrat, is serving 45 days in Travis County Jail after pleading guilty to DWI. If she were removed from office, her replacement would be appointed by Gov. Rick Perry, a Republican.
A hearing to determine whether the matter goes to a jury is scheduled for May 20.
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