AUSTIN (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — Texas Governor Rick Perry was booked on two felony counts of abuse of power for carrying out a threat to veto funding to state public corruption prosecutors. He was booked-in, fingerprinted and had his mugshot taken, which is standard procedure for every defendant charged with a felony.
Perry smiled during his mugshot and removed his new signature glasses.
“The actions that I took were lawful, they were legal and they were proper,” said Perry to supporters.
Dozens of people cheered on the Republican governor when he reported to the Travis County Courthouse on Tuesday.
“I’m very pleased that he’s standing strong and not going to back down on this,” said Perry supporter Edeanne Howes.
Perry’s spokeswoman told CBS 11 News they didn’t ask for any special treatment. However, he is possibly the only criminal defendant with his own state-run security detail.
Perry is accused of coercion and official oppression for promising to veto $7.5 million for the state public integrity unit run by the Travis County district attorney’s office.
Lehmberg refused and Perry carried out the veto, drawing an ethics complaint.
“The governor abused his power, and tried to coerce an elected official out of office because he didn’t like her politics,” said Will Hailer, Executive Director of the Democratic party.
Republicans urged supporters to show up at the courthouse to support Perry, and they did. If convicted, Perry faces a maximum penalty of five to 99 years in prison.
Gov. Perry was very vocal against the indictment filed against him and has vowed to win.
Perry, who is mulling a second presidential run in 2016 has called the case a political ploy, and many top Republicans are supporting him.
After he was booked, Perry tweeted about eating ice cream at Sandy’s in Austin.
Employees took photos with the him after he ordered three vanilla ice cream cones.
“It was very surprising that he came by, and we didn’t know he was coming,” said Sandy’s employee Isaac Alba.
Perry has served as governor for 14 years.
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