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Lehmberg Breaks Silence To Address Salary Concerns
Updated: Saturday, August 3 2013, 05:15 PM CDT
District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg breaks her silence. She tells us what she's doing with the salary she earned while in jail for her DWI conviction. She's donating it. Did she do it because she wanted to or because of new information that came out this morning?
"I'm still fully committed to carrying out the duties I was elected to do," Lehmberg said speaking in a low calm voice. "This just to me seems like a good way to pay back the community."
It's in response to information attorney Kerry O'Brien sent out. He's leading an effort to pressure Lehmberg to resign. His latest inquiry surrounding her arrest started with a freedom of information act request.
"What I decided to do was to give her two months after she got out and then find out, one: was she paid? And two: did she reimburse the money?" O'Brien explained. "Did you pay her? They said yes she was paid, and no she hasn't."
O'Brien sent out that information Wednesday morning. A few hours later Lehmberg was talking, saying, "I know there is some concern among some citizens that I was paid a salary while I was in jail."
Lehmberg says she's not keeping that money. "I'm going to make a donation equivalent to my salary for the 22 days I was in jail and I'm going to make that donation to Mothers Against Drunk Drivers," she explained.
Was this the plan all along? Lehmberg says yes.
"Some time ago I asked the comptroller and state auditor's office if that money could actually be sent back to the taxpayers the state tax payers and there really isn't a mechanism for that."
Lehmberg didn't elaborate much more, telling a KEYE TV reporter she can't since she's facing several lawsuits. Lehmberg did say she is fully capable of fulfilling her duties including prosecuting DWI cases.
By Melanie Lofton