AUSTIN, Texas - No charges will be filed in the alleged drugging of a Texas State Capitol staffer, says the Texas Department of Public Safety.
DPS and the Travis County District Attorney's Office issued a joint statement Thursday saying they don't have enough evidence to support the allegation that a Texas lobbyist spiked the drink of a Capitol legislative aide.
DPS says they conducted a thorough investigation and found no evidence of a crime. Both agencies say they take allegations of drugging women seriously and encourage all women to continue to report potential crimes.
READ THE FULL DPS AND TRAVIS COUNTY DA STATEMENT:
"The Texas Department of Public Safety and the Travis County District Attorney’s Office take the allegation of drugging women very seriously. We work hard to ensure that potential victims are always treated with respect and dignity, and we encourage all women to continue reporting potential crimes to us.
"DPS has conducted a thorough investigation following allegations of drugging of a Capitol staffer by a lobbyist. Together, we have concluded that there is not enough evidence to support these allegations and that criminal charges are not appropriate. No crime occurred in this instance."
The lobbying firm HillCo Partners announced earlier this week that it had hired outside counsel and a former law enforcement official to conduct an internal investigation into the allegations.
Bill Miller, one of the founders of HillCo, said Monday the firm took those steps after "we got a tip that we had a person of interest in our firm." He said the firm had not been contacted by law enforcement.
Attorneys David and Perry Minton issued a statement on the allegations Thursday, saying:
"We have today been informed by a reliable source that our client is a victim in this case. The story that our client drugged capital staffers is 100% false and was made up in order to cover the personal misconduct of another individual. Our client paid lawyers, passed a polygraph and cooperated with the Department of Public Safety in an effort to clear his name and that of Hillco Partners. Based upon the false information provided to law enforcement against our client and subsequently printed in the press, some State of Texas officials went as far as to ban our client from entering their offices to perform his job. To be clear, this was a devious plan to frame our client by an unscrupulous individual or individuals to cover up their own indiscretions.
It is our opinion that the individual or individuals involved in this outrages and immoral scheme should be held accountable by their employers and then prosecuted by our new district attorney."
According to the AP, the report of the allegation quickly put a new focus on the treatment of women and staffers at the Texas Capitol, where three years ago lawmakers revised sexual harassment policies in both the House and Senate as the #MeToo movement spread to statehouses around the country.
Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan has now called for changing the required in-person sexual harassment prevention training for House members and staff, which he said would be more effective than the virtual training currently offered.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.