When a whistleblower uncovered and exposed an admissions scandal at the University of Texas at Austin, Joe Straus attacked him.
UT Regent Wallace Hall discovered that legislators had been abusing the admissions system at UT Austin to get under-qualified children of family friends and donors admitted. In one egregious case, a student scoring in the bottom 1 percent of test-takers was nonetheless admitted to UT’s prestigious law school.
Instead of a reward, Joe Straus attacked Hall. First, he handpicked a committee to investigate Hall and attempted to impeach him. Then he threatened to refer Hall’s case to the corrupt Democratic Travis County District Attorney’s office.
Straus told Gov. Rick Perry that he would drop the impeachment and would not make the criminal referral if Perry would force Hall to resign. When Perry refused, Straus instructed House staff to send the case to the DA.
The charge? Straus asked the DA to indict Hall for giving one of the emails he had uncovered to his attorneys as part of his defense in the impeachment.
Straus denied his offer to Perry was made, but Perry exposed the truth. The grand jury ultimately refused to indict Hall on the absurd charge, and the House dropped its impeachment efforts. The entire ordeal cost taxpayers millions of dollars.
Straus Facts is a project of Empower Texans, shining a light on the record of House Speaker Joe Straus.