HD46: The Austin-American Statesman’s Ryan Autullo reported that Rep. Dawnna Dukes (D-Austin) has been offered a deal to drop the criminal charges against her if she resigns by Tuesday. “It is truly not dignifying this new low that such character assassination has hit in this web woven to influence a court of public opinion,” Dukes said in a Facebook post. “As such, it would be indecorous of me to respond to impertinent allegations …. I refuse to dignify through statement any of the numerous elements alleged.”
The offer is reported to be similar to a deal she previously rejected, and she reneged on her announcement to resign prior to the beginning of the regular legislative session in January. Dukes was subsequently indicted on 13 felony counts of tampering with public records and two misdemeanor counts of abuse of official capacity. The charges carry a maximum sentence of 28 years in prison. Dukes pleaded not guilty to the charges and has maintained her innocence. She recently hinted that she may seek re-election in what is expected to be a crowded Democratic primary.
Meanwhile, two of Dukes’s attorneys have requested to withdraw from representing her because, citing an inability “to effectively communicate with the defendant on matters essential to the representation.”
Redistricting: Today was the deadline for parties in the state’s legislative and congressional redistricting case to file post-trial briefs. A remedial hearing is expected to be scheduled between mid-August and early September.
Meanwhile, a federal district court has denied plaintiffs’ motion calling for special elections for North Carolina’s legislative districts and given the General Assembly until September 1 to draw new maps for the 2018 election. Last year, the court ruled that 28 legislative districts were racially gerrymandered in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution. The Assembly can earn an additional two weeks to draw the maps if it adopts a good faith public feedback process it outlines in a motion filed by August 21. Plaintiffs will have two weeks to lodge objections against the new maps once they are adopted.
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