A Texas lawmaker accused of corruption allegedly showed up to a House committee hearing in March and said she was high on morphine.
A court filing this week alleges that Rep. Dawnna Dukes of Travis County showed up for work at the Capitol impaired by medication and spent $51K of her own money on an online psychic.
Dukes is due to face misdemeanor corruption charges at an October 16 trial.
The 12-term congresswoman is accused of giving a taxpayer-funded raise to a legislative aide to cover gas money for shuttling her daughter back and forth from school.
In addition, the filing says Dukes was absent for roll call 65 percent of the time during the 2017 legislative regular session, and 36 percent of the time in the special session.
Dukes’ attorney, Dane Ball, declined to comment on the allegations.
The Travis County district attorney’s office alleges in the filing that Dukes paid for the psychic from December 2014 to January 2016, totaling nearly $1,000 a week.
She apparently used her own money for the payments. The court document doesn’t indicate public funds were used.
Authorities contend she was noticeably impaired on one occasion while performing legislative duties at the Capitol.
She showed up late to a House appropriations committee hearing on March 29 and at one point said: ‘I know I’m talking a lot. I’m full of morphine and will be headed out of here soon.’
She’s also accused of giving investigators a different cellphone from the one they were seeking when they served her with a search warrant.
The Travis County prosecutors’ court filing this week is intended to inform Dukes’ attorneys of allegations against her that will be asserted at trial.
She’s not yet facing charges pertaining to the allegations included in the filing.
Prosecutors still want to salvage a felony case against the lawmaker, the American-Statesman reported.
The DA’s office last week placed 13 felony charges against Dukes on hold after a legislative official gave conflicting information about reimbursement vouchers that Dukes is alleged to have falsified in 2013 and 2014 for days she did not travel to the Capitol.
Dukes previously had announced plans to resign, citing years-long medical concerns. But she reneged in January and was sworn in for her 12th term.