With the Texas Legislature in session, lawmakers are taking advantage of a perk known as legislative continuance to delay court proceeding for themselves and their clients.
One such lawmaker, freshman State Rep. Frederick Frazier (R–McKinney), is on leave from the Dallas Police Department after alleged campaign sign shenanigans during his March primary election resulted in two felony charges against him for impersonating a public servant.
Frazier was indicted last June.
The accusations didn’t deter voters, or donors.
Raking in $1.3 million in campaign contributions, Frazier won a May runoff against the opponent whose signs he’s accused of stealing with 64 percent of the vote. He then defeated a Democrat in November to represent the solidly Republican House District 61.
Once elected, Frazier requested and received a legislative continuance until June 29 of this year.
Texas statutes allow lawmakers who are involved in legal proceedings to request that their cases be put on hold during the time period 30 days before a legislative session begins until 30 days after the Legislature adjourns.
Legislators aren’t the only ones who benefit from the continuances.
About one-third of Texas lawmakers are also attorneys, and their clients can also take advantage of legislative continuances to postpone legal proceedings.
One of those clients is Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.
Jones got a court to delay hearings in a paternity suit against him after requesting a legislative continuance, since one of his attorneys is State Sen. Royce West (D–Dallas).
The current legislative session runs through May 29.