Democratic Rep. Dawnna Dukes, a Texas lawmaker for more than 20 years who has been accused of corruption, once allegedly showed up at a House committee hearing and said she was high on morphine.
The 12-term state representative arrived late to a March House appropriations committee hearing and said: “I know I’m talking a lot. I’m full of morphine and will be headed out of here soon,” according to a court filing by the Travis County district attorney’s office this week, The Daily Mail reported.
The Mail said that authorities contend the Democrat “was noticeably impaired on one occasion while performing legislative duties at the Capitol.”
That charge and others appear in the court filing this week. Dukes faces trial October 16 on corruption charges.
The Democrat is accused of using taxpayer funds to give a raise to a legislative aide to cover gas money for driving Dukes’ daughter to and from school. Dukes is also accused of giving investigators a different cellphone from the one they were seeking when they served her with a search warrant.
The DA’s office also says Dukes spent $51,000 on a psychic from December 2014 to January 2016 — nearly $1,000 a week. But the filed court document doesn’t say if she used public money for the psychic.
Said The Mail:
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 yearslong medical concerns. But she reneged in January and was sworn in for her 12th term.
The filing also says Dukes missed 65% of the time during the 2017 legislative regular session, and 36% of the time in the special session.