WASHINGTON — The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals on Wednesday dropped charges against Rick Perry that alleged the former Texas governor abused his power while in office.
Perry, a two-time former GOP presidential candidate, was indicted by a grand jury in August 2014 after he first threatened and then carried out a veto that defunded a statewide public integrity unit in an attempt to force a district attorney’s resignation.
Perry originally faced two indictments, but one was dismissed by a lower court in July.
“Appeals court clears @GovernorPerry of all charges. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers. #StandWithRick,” tweeted an official account manned by his staff.
The case examined the state’s separation-of-power provision in the Texas Constitution and a governor’s veto power under the “abuse of official capacity” statute.
Perry fought the indictment, claiming that the counts were “unconstitutional.”
The dismissal supported this claim, stating, “public servants have a First Amendment right to engage in expression, even threats, regarding their official duties.”
Perry served as the governor of Texas for 15 years, where he was the longest-serving governor in the history of the state.