Rep. Dawnna Dukes (D-Austin) pleaded not guilty to felony charges of tampering with a government record and misdemeanor charges of abuse of official capacity. District Judge Brad Urrutia set an October 16 trial date. Dukes said she would not accept any plea deal.
She was indicted in January by a Travis Co. grand jury after she decided not to resign, reversing a decision she made last fall. A field of candidates developed for what would have been a special election, and many of those candidates are now campaigning for the 2018 primary election. Dukes has not faced a primary opponent since 2008.
In April, Urrutia denied Dukes’s motion to dismiss four of those charges. She faces 13 counts of tampering with a government record and two counts of abuse of official capacity.
At the time of her indictment, Dukes said in a Facebook post that she was “disappointed but I expected that if I was sworn into office in January 10th that this indictment would follow. All I can say today is that I will be entering a plea of Not Guilty” [sic]. Speaking with reporters outside the courthouse today, Dukes said that the public has not yet heard her side of the story which will show that she is “unequivocally not guilty of these charges.”
Dukes also said it was a “strong possibility” that she would seek re-election.
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