Democrats stall GOP push to uproot public integrity unit

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) – House Democrats are stalling efforts to transfer public corruption cases in Texas following the indictment of former Republican Gov. Rick Perry.

Outnumbered Democrats on Thursday used legislative maneuvering to temporarily block a bill that would put the Texas Rangers in charge of investigating criminal allegations of political wrongdoing.

The bill was pulled down on a point of order but is expected to return next week. Democrats vowed to keep fighting.

Many Republicans this session are bent on yanking the state’s Public Integrity Unit away from the district attorney’s office in Travis County, which is a Democratic stronghold. Perry vetoed funding for the office last year after the district attorney refused to resign following a drunken driving arrest.

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Perry was later indicted on abuse-of-power charges. That case is pending.