Dawnna Dukes Finds Herself on the Wrong Side of the Texas Ethics Commission Again

Dawnna Dukes
Dawnna Dukes (Photo by Jana Birchum)

Former Austin state Rep. Dawnna Dukes has found herself once again outside the bounds of the state's ethics rules. The Texas Ethics Commission is suing Dukes for failing to timely file a semiannual financial statement that was due last July, instead turning in the report this past January. The TEC seeks to collect the statutory maximum $10,000 in fines; if that cap didn't apply, Dukes would be liable for more, as the reporting rules levy $500 for missing the first deadline and a subsequent $100 for each day the report remains delinquent. Dukes is far from the only officeholder (or former one) who owes TEC; its delinquent filer list is lengthy and shows other candidates and representatives need to pay anywhere from $500 to $20,000.

It's been a rough road for Dukes, who was ensnared in a series of ethics and financial complaints that led to criminal charges for abuse of office. Though those charges were later dropped, the 12-term Eastside incumbent lost her seat in the March 2018 primary and has laid low since, only coming up to file a lawsuit against the Austin American-Statesman, Travis County District Attorney Margaret Moore, and three of her former aides (who were witnesses in the criminal case) for some $7.8 million in compensatory damages for "conspiring" to defame her. Dukes, who is not an attorney, has represented herself in the suit; according to the Statesman, she has not paid for the suit to be served to the defendants, and it thus remains pending.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More by Mary Tuma
Lege Lines: “Born Alive” Bills Filed
Lege Lines: “Born Alive” Bills Filed
National right-wing moral panic over “infanticide” hits Texas

March 15, 2019

Southwest Key CEO Juan Sanchez Steps Down
Southwest Key CEO Juan Sanchez Steps Down
Embattled CEO/founder departs amid protests, investigations

March 11, 2019

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle