Texas lawmakers approve changes to Public Integrity Unit

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AUSTIN (AP) – The Legislature has approved a bill removing public corruption cases from a unit based in left-leaning Austin and tied to former Gov. Rick Perry’s indictment last year.

The House and Senate each previously approved separate bills removing cases of alleged wrongdoing by elected officials from the Public Integrity Unit, headed by the district attorney in Austin.

On Saturday, both chambers approved a compromise, sending it to Gov. Greg Abbott.

The Texas Rangers would investigate public corruption allegations. District attorneys in the county where the official was elected would investigate credible complaints.

Perry vetoed Public Integrity Unit funding in 2013, after Democratic District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg wouldn’t resign following a drunken driving conviction.

He was indicted on abuse-of-power charges, but a special prosecutor, not the Public Integrity Unit, led that investigation.

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