State office may appeal pro-Perry appeals court ruling

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The state may ask Texas' highest criminal court to overturn a lower appeals court decision that led to one of the criminal charges against former Gov. Rick Perry being tossed.

Last month, a Texas appeals court ruled the state statute prohibiting coercion of a public servant unconstitutional, saying it restricted free speech.

That dismissed one of two felony counts against Perry, who still faces an abuse of power charge as he runs for president.

But the Office of the State Prosecuting Attorney is planning to ask the Court of Criminal Appeals to review that decision. It's concerned with defending the overall statute, but an appeal could nonetheless affect Perry's case.

Perry was indicted last year for publicly threatening, then exercising, a 2013 veto of state funding for anti-corruption prosecutors.