Rep Dawnna Dukes has until the end of today to resign

Rep. Dawnna Dukes, D-Austin, right, talks with colleagues after members gave tentative approval to her bill during the session in the Texas House of Representatives Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Harry Cabluck)

Just before the regular legislative session, State Representative Dawnna Dukes was indicted by a grand jury on 13 felony counts of tampering with public records and two misdemeanor charges for abuse of her office.

According to, Dukes delayed her trial by filing for a legislative continuance, postponing proceedings until the legislative session was over. She originally planned to be sworn in before resigning, but has since changed her tune.

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The plea deal being offered by the district attorney’s office requires that she resign, submit to drug and alcohol assessment, pay $3,000 in restitution for the felony tampering and misdemeanor abuse charges, pay a $500 fine to the Texas Ethics Commission and waive her right to a speedy trial in any future litigation related to these charges. In exchange, the felony charges will be dropped.

Rep. Dukes pleaded not guilty to all of the charges brought against her in June, and said she did not plan to accept any kind of plea bargain. Even after public knowledge of the charges, Dukes still won reelection by a 70 percent margin.

“If she does not accept that deal, we’ve got to go to work and we’re going to be preparing for trial,” Travis County DA Margaret Moore told the Texas Tribune. “It’s time to move on.”

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