Time Running Out on Plea Deal Offer for Dukes

Travis County DA Margaret Moore, Monday morning, held up a copy of the plea deal she has offered to state Representative Dawnna Dukes. For Moore the document is a Win Win for everyone involved.

"I think it’s fair, I believe it serves the community well, and it also serves Representative Dukes well,” said Moore.

This limited time offer is not a free pass. There are several key conditions for the DA to drop all charges.

-Dukes has to resign her job as a state lawmaker.
-Pay restitution totaling $3,000. 50 plus pay a $500 ethics fine.
-Complete a drug and alcohol treatment program if an assessment recommends she should attend one.

The offer expires at the end of the work day Tuesday.

"I think the most important thing for this community is for Representative Dukes to move on, and allow someone else to come and represent that District,” said Moore.

Word that an offer was in the works came out during a Court Hearing in June, at that time Dukes entered an official plea of not guilty. By declaring her innocence  it was clear there was no interest in cutting a deal with prosecutors. The veteran lawmaker even told me she may consider taking another lap on the campaign trail.

"That is a very strong possibility,” said Dukes after leaving court back in June.

Rep. Dukes is facing multiple public corruption charges. She allegedly received legislative pay for days she did not work. Dukes is also accused of misusing campaign donations.

During the Special Session which started July 18th, the Austin Democrat hasn’t seen much under the Capitol dome. According to the House Journal, Representative Dukes has been listed absent four of the eight days lawmakers have met. Monday her seat was empty again, but this time she was excused for having to take care of business in her district.

A request to Representative Dukes for comment was not returned. Her trial is set for the middle of October. Dukes is represented by two attorneys, Matt Shrum and Dana Ball. A motion was filed last week for Ball to leave the case and to list Shrum as lead counsel.