Texas House Speaker Dennis Bonnen won't face criminal prosecutio

Texas House Speaker Dennis Bonnen won't face criminal prosecution, Brazoria County DA says

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House Speaker Dennis Bonnen announces committee chairs at the state capitol. Jan 23, 2019.  Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / The Texas Tribune House Speaker Dennis Bonnen announces committee chairs at the state capitol. Jan 23, 2019. Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / The Texas Tribune

By Cassandra Pollock, The Texas Tribune, Oct. 24, 2019

Texas House Speaker Dennis Bonnen will not be criminally prosecuted for the things he said during a secretly recorded June meeting with a hardline conservative activist, the district attorney in his hometown announced Thursday.

"As repugnant as Speaker Bonnen's actions and statements are," Brazoria County District Attorney Jeri Yenne said in a statement, "I do not believe there is sufficient evidence from the June 12, 2019 meeting to warrant a criminal prosecution of Speaker Bonnen for Bribery or Solicitation of a Gift by a Public Servant, therefore no criminal charges will be brought."

Bonnen, an Angleton Republican, announced Tuesday he will not seek reelection to the lower chamber — and, consequentially, to the speakership — after activist Michael Quinn Sullivan secretly recorded a meeting with Bonnen in June. In the meeting, Bonnen and a top lieutenant asked Sullivan's group, Empower Texans, to target a list of 10 House Republicans in the upcoming primary elections, and said he could get Empower Texans media access to the House floor. The Texas Rangers launched an investigation into the allegations made about Bonnen and submitted their report to Yenne earlier this week.

This developing story will be updated.

 

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