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Looming Impeachment of Governor Perry Appointee Complicates Future Plans

Governor Rick Perry hasn't exactly had a smooth transition into his (yet to be announced) second run for President. His initial announcement that he would not seek re-election was postponed due to the epic events surrounding Wendy Davis' filibuster in the Senate. Now, Wallace Hall, UT regent and Perry appointee, is one step closer to being impeached by the Texas legislature. The damning House Resolution filed by Appropriations Chair Jim Pitts, "calls into question his [Hall's] fitness for office" because he, "may have obtained that office through misrepresentation of material facts", as well as, "disregarding the processes and procedures of the board of regents". The perception is that Hall was, "micromanaging UT in an effort to dislodge President Bill Powers to the detriment of the state's flagship university."

The House Select Committee's appointed Chair Carol Alvarado (D-Houston) indicated there will be further hearings and the body expects to use its subpoena powers to evaluate a potential impeachment recommendation to the House Caucus as a whole.

There is a general feeling that this is a bipartisan referendum on Governor Perry and his tenuous relationship with the University of Texas system. During his tenure, Perry has appointed over 3,000 individuals, but there are few institutions in the state that draw the type of loyalty or boast the strength and attention of its alumni like the UT system. In announcing his proclamation empowering the investigation, House Speaker Joe Straus said, "These concerns warrant further inquiry, as well as a broader look at the role of all executive appointees in the agencies they oversee."

Chair Alvarado suggested that the next meeting, "be a closed session" so the committee can consider its legal team and case moving forward. According the The Daily Texan, "If a majority in the House votes in favor of charging Hall with impeachment, it would be up to the Senate to conduct a trial and remove Hall by another two-thirds vote."

The last time the legislature used this authority was in 1975 where after 21 meetings, 32 witnesses and 70 hours of public testimony they ousted District Court Judge O.P. Carillo.

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