UPDATE: Website Alleges Lehmberg Involved in Hit-and-Run
No evidence Lehmberg involved in wreck the night she was popped for DWI
By Jordan Smith, 3:52PM, Wed. Jun. 12, 2013
The Travis County Sheriff's Office this afternoon released the full 911 call made by a Fort Hood soldier who reported being sideswiped on FM 620 the night Rosemary Lehmberg was arrested for drunk driving. According to his conversation with 911, Lehmberg's was not the car that hit his and then continued on without stopping.
The audio should put to rest the rumor posted online that Lehmberg may have been responsible for the damage to James Vangorp's black car the evening of April 12. According to the recording, his car was hit by a "mid-sized SUV" and a newer model; Lehmberg drives a 2001 Lexus sedan.
On the heels of news that a date has been set for her official removal proceeding, and after Gov. Rick Perry's threat that he'll yank funding for public integrity prosecutions unless she resigns, comes a rumor that beleaguered Travis County District Attorney Lehmberg was also involved in a collision the night she was arrested for drunken driving.
The allegation is made on the website So Long, Rose, and posits that evidence exists – in statements Lehmberg made while drunk, in the fact that her car had front end damage (though there's no indication that damage was new), and in a suit seeking her ouster that was filed by former assistant D.A. Rick Reed – to suggest that she was responsible for a hit-and-run accident that occurred not far from where she was arrested for driving drunk the night of April 12.
While the investigation into a nearby hit-and-run reported that night is ongoing, Travis County Sheriff's Office spokesman Roger Wade wrote in an email, "there has been no evidence recovered that links Rosemary Lehmberg's vehicle to the [vehicle that left] the scene [of the] wreck." Ultimately, he wrote, the online allegation "is just that, an allegation."
Lehmberg was arrested in April and charged with drunk driving. She pleaded guilty and was sentenced to serve 45 days. She served roughly half of that and was released; since then she has been away from work, seeking unspecified treatment. In the wake of her arrest several lawsuits have been filed seeking her removal, pursuant to a rarely used provision of the Local Government Code, and political foes have used the arrest – and Lehmberg's unsavory behavior at the Travis County Jail – as a platform to call for her to resign and/or to take aim at her office's Public Integrity Unit, which is tasked with investigation and prosecution of cases that involve, among others, elected officials.
Also this week, visiting Judge David Peeples set July 22 for a hearing on the removal suit – originally filed by attorney Kerry O'Brien, then dismissed and refiled by County Attorney David Escamilla, who is tasked with representing the state's interests.