KVUE -- Texas taxpayers will pay the legal defense fees for Gov. Rick Perry, who is under criminal investigation for allegedly illegally withholding state money from the Travis County District Attorney's office.
KVUE News and the Austin American-Statesman reported Sunday that Perry had hired well-known Austin lawyer David Botsford to represent him. The hiring came as a grand jury was about to begin reviewing Perry's actions.
On Wednesday, a spokeswoman for Perry confirmed that Botsford's hourly rate of $450 will be paid by Texas taxpayers, "because this inquiry concerns actions by the governor while acting in his official capacity."
Perry last year vetoed a state budget item that would have given the District Attorney's office a two-year, $7.5 million allocation after the drunken driving arrest of District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg. Perry had threatened to withhold the money unless Lehmberg resigned, and carried out that threat when she refused to step down.
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