Texas Lieutenant Gov. David Dewhurst is under fire for a call he made to local police seeking the release of a family member who was arrested for shoplifting.
In the police recording made public Tuesday and reported by local news outlets, Dewhurst, a Republican who has been in office for 10 years, brandishes his popularity among law enforcement. He also says the suspect, the wife of his nephew, is the “sweetest woman in the world.”
“I am, every year, the No. 1 pick of all of the law enforcement agencies within Texas,” Dewhurst tells an officer at the Allen Police Department. “You don’t know it, but I’m a supporter of you and a supporter of everybody in law enforcement.”
Dewhurst was recently in the national spotlight as a major backer of Texas’ strict abortion law. Running for reelection in 2014, he has suffered a number of political setbacks over the last year, from his defeat in a 2012 Senate primary at the hands of Ted Cruz to his handling of debate over the abortion law that led to national fame for the Democrat who filibustered it, Wendy Davis.
“The fact that David Dewhurst believes he and his family are above the law is the height of arrogance and recklessness,” said state Sen. Dan Patrick, a Republican running against Dewhurst.
A Dewhurst spokesman said he was simply inquiring about posting bail and noted moments during the call when he says the cops should follow protocol.
“David acted as a concerned family member in an attempt to acquire information on how to post bail for his niece while reiterating multiple times in the full conversation that law enforcement follow their normal protocols and procedures,” the spokesman said.
Listen to the full recording, posted by the Dallas Morning News, here: