Driver Closes Door on Violation

Lawmaker pleads guilty on misuse of funds

By Jordan Smith, Fri., Nov. 25, 2011

State Rep. Joe Driver, R-Garland, pleaded guilty in Travis County this week to a third-degree felony charge of abuse of official capacity by depositing thousands of dollars in state travel reimbursement funds – taxpayer money – into his personal account, which should have been placed into his campaign officeholder account. Driver will repay nearly $64,000 in misappropriated funds. Prosecutors recommend a sentence of five years deferred adjudication, a $5,000 fine, and compliance with whatever counseling is recommended by the probation department. Driver is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 19, and says he's not running for re-election. "My family and I are thankful that this has been resolved," he said after pleading guilty on Tuesday.

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