Ken Herman: Good for Dawnna Dukes — if she’s innocent as she claims,
Rep. Dawnna Dukes showed up late for work Tuesday in the Texas House. Better late than never when it comes to representing the folks who elected you.
A day earlier, the Austin Democrat was excused for what was announced in the chamber as “important business in the district.” Yes, freedom is important business. And Dukes’ freedom is in jeopardy.
Dukes has been indicted on 15 counts alleging abuse of office. Tuesday at 5 p.m. was the deadline for her to decide on what seemed like a too-generous offer from prosecutors: Resign and charges would be dropped. The deadline passed and the offer expired, meaning Dukes is headed for an October trial.
Good for Dukes, if she’s not guilty as she claims, for not taking the stay-out-of-jail-almost-free card offered by Travis County District Attorney Margaret Moore. Good, but potentially dumb. Given the situation, it seemed like an offer too good to refuse. Perhaps, it was one too good to make.
I say good for Dukes because I believe people who think they’re not guilty should go to trial and make prosecutors prove they are guilty. Dukes faces up to 28 years behind bars if found guilty.