Perry turns self in after abuse of power, coercion charges

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Governor Rick Perry stands amongst media, residents before turning himself in to the Travis County Courthouse.

Governor Rick Perry turned himself in to the Travis County Courthouse at 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Perry was indicted by a Travis grand jury on two felony accounts that accused him of abuse of power and coercion of a public servant, according to an Aug. 16 Houston Chronicle article. Perry threatened to veto funding for a public corruption unit run by Democratic Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg if she didn’t resign in the middle of her drunk driving arrest and guilty plea, according to an Aug. 19 San Antonio Express-News article.

Perry announced he would turn himself in Aug. 19 at 5 p.m. and kept his word. Arriving on time, Perry walked through a crowd of supporters and protesters alike and spoke to the media before and after his booking.

“I am here today because I did the right thing,” Perry said. “I’m going to enter this courthouse with my head held high knowing that the actions that I took were not only lawful and legal, but right.”

Perry vetoed the money for Public Integrity Unity, claiming that Lehmberg lost the public’s trust, according to the Express-News article.

One of Perry’s supporters, Doug McDougal, was there with a sign that read “Gov. Perry Innocent.”

“I came to support my governor,” McDougal said. “I think it’s being done to get a mug shot.”

Other supporters held signs reading, “We are proud of you governor” and “ Free Perry.” People against Perry had signs that said, “Nice mug shot, criminal” and “I miss you Ann Richards.”

Norma Hurst, a citizen against Perry, was at the courthouse with a sign that read, “Perry is guilty!”

“(Perry) must be covering something up (to have turned himself in),” Hurst said.

Perry said he would not allow for the “attack” on the system of government to stand.

Governor Perry went into the criminal justice center to have his mugshot and fingerprints taken. After turning himself in, Perry thanked the sheriff deputies for their “professionalism” and addressed his supporters.

“We will prevail, we will prevail,” Perry said. “We will prevail because the rule of law will prevail.”

Before leaving, Perry said, “I remain focused on doing the work of the people of this great state.”

After his booking, Perry tweeted a photo and said he was enjoying ice cream at Sandy’s, a local ice cream shop in Austin.