Conservatives demand answers after Texas governor resigns over state prison controversy
Conservatives are calling on Texas Gov.
Greg Abbott to resign after he resigned amid a controversial state prison scandal involving a state jail where prisoners were allegedly fed a diet of green collard and cabbage.
The state House and Senate are expected to hold a special session Tuesday to discuss the scandal.
Abbott, a Republican, said Wednesday that he had resigned after a state investigation found that he “failed to follow protocol” in his handling of the matter.
“This is a scandal that will have an effect on all of our lives, and we’re all going to have to live with it,” Abbott said in a statement.
“The governor’s resignation today is a personal one, but we must all be held accountable.
I am taking immediate action to begin the process of replacing him.”
Abbott’s resignation comes as a new lawsuit seeks to oust him from office.
The suit was filed Tuesday by the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas, the Texas Public Policy Foundation and a number of other conservative groups.
The Texas Tribune reported that the plaintiffs claim the governor and his wife, former Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, were involved in a scheme to manipulate the state’s inmate population to keep prisoners from seeking medical treatment.
Abbott has said that he was unaware of the plan until recently, and that he learned of it from the Texas Attorney Security Commission, the state prison system’s investigative arm.
But in an interview with the Austin American-Statesman last month, Abbott said that the governor was “not aware of the whole thing.”
“The only reason I knew about it was because the Attorney General sent me a letter saying they had something,” Abbott told the newspaper.
“I did not know what it was.
I didn’t know anything about it.”
Abramson has been a popular state lawmaker, a former lieutenant governor and governor.
But he was elected in 2012 and was sworn in July, shortly after the scandal erupted.
He took office in January 2017.