Published November 04, 2005
KERRVILLE, Texas – A Texas county official said Thursday he would not prosecute presidential adviser Karl Rove (search) after investigating whether he voted illegally in the state.
Kerr County Attorney Rex Emerson (search) said he made the decision after reviewing a report from the county sheriff, who examined documents from Texas, Washington and Florida and interviewed several witnesses.
"The facts indicate that Mr. and Mrs. Rove are Texans living in Washington, D.C., during Mr. Rove's service to the federal government," Emerson said in a statement.
Emerson said there was no evidence of dual voting or falsified applications involving Rove, White House deputy chief of staff, and his wife, Darby.
Rove's voting habits became an issue after The Washington Post reported in September that Rove received a homestead tax deduction on his Washington residence, while also claiming an exemption for a Texas residence he later sold.
Washington changed its homestead exemption (search) law to restrict the tax break only to people who voted in the district and took blame for failing to inform Rove of the change in the law. Rove reimbursed the district about $3,400.
Rove is registered to vote in Kerr County, where his residence includes two cottages that are part of a bed-and-breakfast. He also recently built a home in Florida.
A Kerr County resident complained in a letter about Rove, which triggered the county attorney's investigation of whether Rove and his wife had violated the Texas Election Code, a misdemeanor.
The Texas secretary of state has said that Texans who have moved out of state can vote in the state if they intend to return someday.
Before moving to Washington, Rove had lived in Texas since the 1970s and worked on former President George H.W. Bush's campaign.
He also helped President George W. Bush get elected Texas governor in 1994 and again in 1998 before leading his presidential campaigns in 2000 and 2004.
Rove remains under investigation by a federal grand jury in the CIA leak case in Washington.