Even the disgraced district attorney in Travis County isn’t going along with the criminalization of house speaker Joe Straus’ political opponents. For the second time in a year, Straus’ lackeys have attempted to orchestrate criminal charges against his critics only to be rebuffed. The latest target was State Rep. Jonathan Stickland.
The Bedford Republican today announced he had been cleared by the Texas Rangers of meritless allegations leveled against him by Straus’ allies. In what was widely viewed as retribution for his efforts at exposing cronyism and corruption, Stickland was tossed from a committee hearing by a Straus insider – Democrat Joe Pickett of El Paso, chairman of the House Committee on Transportation. Another Straus crony, State Rep. John Kuempel (R-Seguin) who chairs the General Investigating Committee, announced an investigation.
The Straus-appointed Keumpel committee then asked the Texas Rangers to investigate. Despite pressure from the Straus camp, the Rangers found no wrongdoing by Stickland. According to Stickland’s attorney, the legislator was told “the investigation was over” and that law enforcement closed the case.
It was revealed today that law enforcement, under direction of Straus’ team, had also tried to involve Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg in the investigation of Stickland.
Last year, Straus’ team asked Lehmberg to prosecute Wallace Hall, the University of Texas regent who uncovered a clout abuse scandal and financial irregularities in higher education. After involving Lehmberg’s office, Straus allegedly offered to make the investigation against Hall go away if Hall would just resign.
Hall refused, and the investigation ended with Hall cleared of wrongdoing.