Travis County DA to testify in trial over arrest

Travis County DA testifies in trial over arrest

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Tears and a surprising revelations Tuesday as the trail to remove Travis County's District Attorney from office wraps up the second day of testimony. FOX7's Rudy Koski shows us how the original story Rosemary Lehmberg gave when she was arrested has changed.

DA Rosemary Lehmberg has already served jail time for her criminal conduct, but Tuesday, when called to testify, she had to once again deal with the consequences of what took place April 12th. When she testified from the witness stand, Lehmberg admitted she drank several vodka drinks before going to the movies in northwest Austin. At the movies she had a least two glasses of wine. She later went to a liquor store, purchased a bottle vodka and mixed more drinks while in a convenience store parking lot. Lehmburg would eventually be arrested near Mansfield Dam.

In court Tuesday she admitted she "… was very intoxicated." As for her belligerent conduct after being taken into custody and processed into jail, Lehmberg said it was "inappropriate and unacceptable."

This trial to remove the District Attorney from office is a civil proceeding. County Attorneys have to prove that Lehmberg damaged the office, not just caused an embarrassment. In a possible attempt to satisfy that requirement, there was testimony about the state Public Integrity Unit which operates under Lehmberg's direction. Funding was cut earlier this year by Governor Rick Perry because she refused to resign after her arrest and conviction. Judge David Peebles who will make the decision about Lehmberg's future employment seems to want to know more about what kind of harm Lehmberg can cause if she stays on the job.

Substance abuse expert, Dr. Herbert Munden, testified that he diagnosed Lehmberg as having alcohol dependency without physical dependency, meaning she doesn't have with-draw symptoms. He is concern she has not followed all of her continue care program after going through rehab, but said the disease would not prevent the da from doing her job.

"The fact she's putting forth the effort. People vary in the amount of time it takes for them to accept the treatment plan. There's no time period that says it's good or bad about a person," said Dr. Munden.

When asked if it was his opinion the residents of Travis Co. shouldn't be concerned that she hasn't followed through with the whole treatment plan Munden responded by saying , "Nah, because she's doing it now. "

The D.A. never said she was an alcoholic while she testified Tuesday, but she did not disagree with the assessment that she had been abusing alcohol. She has started seeing a psychiatrist and is now attending a support group. She testified that her last drink of alcohol was on a plane this past summer as she was heading to rehab.

Lehmberg became emotional when she read the apology letters she wrote after being released from jail. She said she believes she deserves a second chance and should be allowed to finish her term in office.

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