It appears that another Democrat has been caught mishandling public funds. In this case, however, it’s hard to believe how ridiculously spent some of this money was.
Travis County prosecutors are charging state Rep. Dawnna Dukes on a misdemeanor corruption trial, according to Chron. In addition to mishandling public funds, the prosecutors have said in a court filing that Dukes spent more than $51,000 on an online psychic, showed up impaired to work at the Capitol, and even hid a cellphone from investigators, among other things.
The state representative has been indicted on a number of different felony charges. Aside from the misbehaviors mentioned earlier, other charges include tampering with a public document as well as submitting false information to the state to receive unwarranted reimbursements.
However, the most severe of her accusations include the misuse of public funds for personal gain as well as converting campaign money for personal spending.
Despite this, Dukes pleaded not guilty to the felonies.
“Of course, I am disappointed,” she said, “but I expected that if I was sworn into office on January 10th that this indictment would follow.”
Prosecutors decided to inform Dukes’s lawyers of the allegations that they will be asserting at her trial on October 16th. For instance, Dukes stands accused of giving a taxpayer-funded raise to a legislative aide to cover gas costs for taking her daughter back and forth to school, with some suspecting her aide functioned as a live-in nanny for her.
Aside from the staggering $51,000 she spent on a supposed psychic, she also faces other crimes. She refused to provide investigators with her cell phone, giving instead a phone whose identification number didn’t match the one they requested.
She was also absent for half of all roll calls taken during the 2017 legislative session, yet still expected to be paid for the days she wasn’t in attendance.
Dukes is indicted on two charges of abuse of official capacity by a public servant, facing up to a year in jail along with a $4,000 fine. She also faces 13 counts of tampering with a government record, which carries an additional two years of jail time alongside a $10,000 fine.
Despite this, she has insisted that this corruption case is irrelevant, with her lawyers arguing that it’s “legally and factually baseless.”
“It’s time for DA Moore to either prove the felony charges in open court, or admit to this court and the public what she already knows – that she never should have filed them,” Shaun Clarke, defense attorney, wrote.
Democrat-aligned groups have been getting exposed for mishandling their funding for some time now and to such an extent that the public would do well to stay vigilant against future public financial expenditures. Both the Congressional Hispanic Caucus PAC and the Black Congressional Caucus have been revealed to be spending their contributions to line their own pockets rather than supporting the causes they claim to advocate.
These realities are an unfortunate truth in the American political system, and voters need to remain ever concerned about financial corruption in their midst.