Abuse of power case against Rick Perry formally dismissed

 AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- A judge has officially dismissed the felony abuse-of-power case against former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, weeks after the state's highest court cleared him.

Wednesday's action was a mere formality since the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals in February voided the criminal indictment against Perry.

Perry left office last year and ran a short, second presidential campaign -- despite facing a 2014 indictment in Austin for abuse of power and coercion of a public servant.

The charges stem from Perry's publicly threatening -- and then carrying out -- a 2013 veto of state funding for public corruption prosecutors. That came after the unit's Democratic head rebuffed Perry's calls to resign after being convicted of drunken driving.

 Perry argued his freedom of speech was violated, and the indictments were quashed on appeal.

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