A Texas Democratic lawmaker is accused of spending more than $51,000 on an online psychic, prosecutors allege in a court filing submitted this week as part of a corruption trial.
Austin Rep. Dawnna Dukes is facing misdemeanor corruption charges for allegedly giving a taxpayer-funded raise to a legislative aide to cover gas money for driving her daughter to and from school.
The Travis County district attorney’s office claims that Dukes paid for the psychic using her own money from December 2014 to January 2016, totaling nearly $1,000 a week. The document didn’t indicate whether public funds were used.
The filing, originally obtained by the Austin American-Statesman, also alleged the Texas lawmaker showed up for work at the Capitol impaired by medication and hid a cellphone from investigators.
Investigators said Dukes was noticeably impaired while performing legislative duties at the Capitol on March 29, showing up late to a House Appropriations Committee hearing and at one point saying, "I know I'm talking a lot. I'm full of morphine and will be headed out of here soon."
She's also accused of giving investigators a different cellphone from the one they were seeking when they served her with a search warrant. In addition, the filing said Dukes was absent for roll call 65 percent of the time during the 2017 legislative regular session, and 36 percent of the time in the special session.
The prosecutors' court filing is intended to inform Dukes' attorneys of allegations against her that will be asserted at trial. She's not facing charges pertaining to the allegations included in the filing.
Dukes' attorney, Dane Ball, declined to comment on the allegations.
The lawmaker’s trial is set to take place October 16.
Dukes previously had announced plans to resign, citing yearslong medical concerns. But she reneged in January and was sworn in for her 12th term.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.