NORTH TEXAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – Demanding to talk to the "most senior police officer you have," Texas Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst called the Allen Police Department earlier this month to try to spring a relative from jail for alleged shoplifting.
In a police audiotape obtained by the CBS 11 News I-Team, Dewhurst called the arrest a "miscarriage of justice" and "ridiculous," and repeatedly asked for the personal phone numbers for the Collin County judge and the Collin County sheriff.
"I want the county judge and I want the sheriff," Dewhurst said in a demanding voice. The police watch commander, seeming to keep his cool, refused to give him the numbers, even after the lawmaker repeatedly stated his elected position – one of the highest in the state.
Dewhurst refused to back down during the call made in the late hours of August 3. He continued to insist his relative, Ellen Bevers, is "one of the sweetest women in the world…"
"I intend to jump into this and see what can be done to prevent this very nice lady, (in) a miscarriage of justice, to spend the night in jail."
Late Wednesday evening Dewhurst's press secretary, Travis Considine, sent the following statement -
"David acted as a concerned family member in an attempt to acquire information on how to post bail for his niece while reiterating multiple times in the full conversation that law-enforcement follow their normal protocols and procedures."
But, according to the audiotape of Dewhurst's call, the lieutenant governor went much further than just asking about a bail amount.
"You're telling me that in Allen, there's nothing you can do …Who is your immediate supervisor," a clearly frustrated Dewhurst asked.
He told the officer that he was going to have Steve McCraw, head of the Texas Department of Safety, call Allen police that night to talk about the "mistaken charge" against his relative.
Dewhurst, who has been in office since 2003, has kept a relatively low profile since last year when he lost to underdog Ted Cruz in his bid to succeed retiring Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison. Dewhurst, a Republican, lives in Houston.
CBS 11 could not reach Ellen Bevers, an Allen resident, for comment.
A police report says the 46-year-old woman was taken into custody for allegedly attempting to shoplift more than $50 worth of goods from a grocery story.
Dewhurst, in his call to the police watch commander, repeatedly said the incident was a misunderstanding, adding: "This lady, in my mind, is 100-percent innocent."
If you want to listen to 911 call that was made, click here.