AUSTIN - A big sigh of relief for Rick Perry. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has spared the former governor from a potential prison sentence. The court dismissed the remaining felony indictment against him, which accused him of abuse of power.
You might remember back in 2014, Perry was indicted on two felony counts--abuse of official capacity and coercion of a public servant. The legal troubles came after Governor Perry threatened to veto money for Travis County's Public Integrity Unit, unless district attorney Rosemary Lehmberg resigned over her DWI conviction. She refused to step down, so he cut the funds.
A Travis County grand jury called that an abuse of power, but the criminal appeals court said, "The governor acted and has the power to do so." The coercion of a public official charge was dropped last year, after a lower court ruled that the law was unconstitutionally vague and a violation of free speech.
It's much needed good news for the former governor, who suffered through a mugshot, two failed presidential campaigns and the infamous 'oops' moment.
Rick Perry may have walked the line, but at least now he can rightfully say he never stepped over it.