FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Tarrant County District Attorney Joe Shannon is being accused of investigating and prosecuting a man based on information Shannon got from his own wife.
The motion says Shannon had access to confidential information, a financial stake and personal interest in the case.
The case involves Mario Perez, who is facing a charge of tampering with a government record. The charge stems from allegations Perez was connected to false entries on finance reports for an Arlington ISD school board candidate.
Shannon’s wife Rebecca Lucas, a family law attorney, represented Perez’s now ex-wife in a divorce case in 2011. The motion says that before the divorce was final, Shannon’s office started investigating Perez. That investigation included subpoenaing records from a computer forensics company Lucas had a contract with during the divorce case.
Perez’s attorney Greg Westfall told CBS11 Friday it was clear that information leading Shannon to Perez came from Lucas, because it was requested before the divorce was officially final. A conviction against Perez, the motion says, would also help Lucas in child custody issues still to be arranged.
Asked about the allegation Friday, Lucas said there was never any communication with her husband that wasn’t legal. She told CBS11 that no confidential information from her law practice has ever gone to anyone at any time for any reason, except as required by law.
Lucas remembered the Perez case as one of the easiest divorces she had handled. Both parties had a binding agreement with a mediator finalized within six weeks. There would be no motivation, Lucas said, for her to want Shannon to pursue any criminal charges, because the case, including child custody issues, was already settled, though not finalized because of time requirements set out by Texas law. Shannon also had no financial stake she said because the couple keeps their finances separate.
Shannon’s office wouldn’t comment on the case because it’s still in progress. A spokesperson pointed out though that the charges against Perez were brought directly by a grand jury.
Last month Shannon ignored calls to resign from his position, after details of a sexual harassment claim from a former employee were made public.
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