Hometown Prosecutor Joins Probe into Bribery Allegations Against Texas House Speaker

Texas House Speaker Dennis Bonnen (AP File Photo/Eric Gay)
AP File Photo/Eric Gay

The Brazoria County, Texas, district attorney reportedly joined the investigation into allegations made against House Speaker Dennis Bonnen regarding a June meeting with political activist Michael Quinn Sullivan. Brazoria County is Speaker Bonnen’s home and under a new Texas law, would be responsible for investigating and prosecuting any potential criminal case against him.

Brazoria County District Attorney Jeri Yenne asked the Texas Rangers Public Integrity Unit to investigate the allegations of possible bribery and other misconduct made by Michael Quinn Sullivan after a June meeting between Sullivan, the speaker, and then-House Republican Caucus Chairman Dustin Burrows, the Dallas Morning News reported.

Sullivan alleges that Speaker Bonnen and Chairman Burrows offered, during the meeting held in Bonnen’s official House office, House press credentials for his writers if Sullivan would make political expenditures against a group of House Republican legislators, Breitbart Texas reported.

This week, Yenne formally asked the Texas Rangers Public Integrity Unit to investigate the allegations made against Bonnen. Under a 2015 Texas law, crimes allegedly made by Texas elected officials are initially investigated for reasonable suspicion that a crime has been committed. The district attorney of the official’s home county would then launch a formal investigation and proceed with prosecution if warranted, the Dallas Morning News reported.

Rangers had already begun an inquiry into the matter after the Texas House Committee on General Investigations met earlier this month, Breitbart Texas reported. Chairman Morgan Meyer, (R-Dallas) requested the Texas Rangers to return with a copy of its final investigation. The Texas Rangers have jurisdiction in the matter following a change in state law in 2015.

“Any investigation should follow the facts and the evidence without regard to political consideration,” the chairman concluded as he closed the meeting.

District Attorney Yenne said, “Upon completion of the investigation by the Public Integrity Unit, the investigation will be expeditiously reviewed to determine whether any laws were violated.”

Sullivan reportedly turned over the recording of the June 12 meeting to Texas Rangers earlier this week, the Dallas newspaper reported.

On Tuesday, the Texas Department of Public Safety, the organization that supervises the Texas Rangers, confirmed that Rangers were “gathering evidently related to the meeting, to include a copy of the recording,” the article continued. The DPS officials referred any further questions to the Brazoria County District Attorney’s Office.

Breitbart Texas reached out to DPS officials for information regarding any possible investigation into Rep. Burrows. An immediate response was not available.

Burrows resigned his position as chairman of the House Republican Caucus but then announced his bid for re-election. Governor Greg Abbott followed shortly with an endorsement of Bonnen’s re-election campaign. Burrows maintains that “nothing illegal” happened in the meeting, the Dallas newspaper stated.

Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for the Breitbart Texas-Border team. He is an original member of the Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX and Facebook.


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