AUSTIN, Texas - Governor Greg Abbott was ordered to make an appearance at the Travis County courthouse. He wasn't in trouble, the governor was called for jury duty.
Governor Greg Abbott entered the Travis County courthouse with a smile and a summons.
"This is civic duty day I think it's important for everyone to come out when they are summoned," said Governor Abbott.
The governor was one of 35 people called for jury duty Monday afternoon. As they waited to go into the courtroom the governor struck up several casual conversations. This trip to the Travis County courthouse is for a family violence case. Abbott a former district and state judge said he was actually hoping to be one of the 12 selected--even though state law allows him to be excused.
"I'm here because I'm not claiming an excuse if they select me to serve I will serve," said the Governor.
There are several ways to be excused form jury duty without being the Chief Executive Officer of the state or a member of the legislature.
Reasons to be excused, according to Travis County Court Administrators include:
- State office holder.
- 70 years old or older.
- Have young children and child care problems.
- Are a primary caregiver for an invalid person (health care workers are not exempt.)
- High school or college students get a pass.
- Been on a jury in the past 2 years- 3 years if you live in a county with a population of at least 250-thousand."
Abbot's trip is the second visit to the Travis Co Courthouse by a Texas governor in less than a year. Back in August then-Governor Rick Perry came by for a political rally and to surrender to county authorities. Perry was booked into jail after being indicted on an Abuse of Power charge. He vetoed funding for the Public Integrity Unit when District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg refused to resign after her drunk driving arrest.
There's little chance Abbott could be called for Perry's trial. If it happens and he didn't get selected for the Family Violence case that got underway Monday.