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State officials may determine fate of Public Integrity Unit

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Travis County officials are waiting to see what action state officials will take to help the Public Integrity Unit.

Governor Perry vetoed the funding for the unit putting its future in jeopardy. However, one state lawmaker is trying to restore funding.

State Representative Sylvester Turner said Perry and Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg need to remove themselves from the situation.

There are 31 jobs and 425 cases that are at stake. Most of the cases deal with tax and insurance fraud. The employees received their 90 day notices on Tuesday.

Perry decided to veto the $7.5 million funding for the unit after Lehmberg refused to resign following her DWI arrest in April.

Turner has filed a bill that would override Perry's veto and restore the funding.

"The money needs to be there," Turner said. "The Governor on one hand and Ms. Lehmberg on the other need to pretty much step outside for this agency to move forward. I'm just very concerned that when the state has the purse string, that we're willing to cut off the resources in order to select who the DA will be. For me, that's troubling."

Travis County commissioners are watching what happens over the course of the current special session. They are also looking for funds and hoping to save as many jobs as possible.

Gregg Cox, the director of the unit, said it will take a couple of weeks to prioritize which jobs will go and which will stay.

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