Special State District Judge Bert Richardson was to oversee the impaneling in Austin. The governor's office didn't return messages seeking comment, but The Austin-American Statesman and KVUE-TV reported that Perry took the unusual step of hiring a criminal defense attorney to represent him.
The attorney, David Botsford, did not return calls from The Associated Press seeking comment.
In June, the governor threatened to veto funding approved by the Texas Legislature for the Public Integrity Unit after Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg, whose office oversees the unit, refused to resign following her arrest for drunken driving.
Perry later made good on that threat, nixing a two-year, $7.5 million appropriation for the unit and its hundreds of active cases. That prompted a complaint alleging abuse of power by Texans for Public Justice, a left-leaning political watchdog group which claimed Perry had unlawfully tried to coerce Lehmberg.
It's the second time a grand jury has been seated in the case. Another was impaneled last year, but its term expired.
Michael McCrum, the special prosecutor investigating Perry, couldn't be reached for comment Monday. But McCrum has said he has specific concerns about Perry as part of the investigation, though he has refused to elaborate.
The Public Integrity Unit is based in Austin, part of Travis County. It investigates wrongdoing by public officials statewide, and its high-profile efforts include the 2010 prosecution of former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay and an ongoing investigation into the state's embattled, $3 billion cancer research agency.
After Perry's veto wiped out state funding, Travis County commissioners voted to give about $1.7 million to the office and almost $735,000 from forfeited assets were also diverted to it. From an original staff of 35, two unit employees were laid off and 18 others retired or moved on to other jobs.
Lehmberg, a Democrat, took office in 2009. Her latest term expires at the end of 2016 and she says she won't run again. After her arrest in April 2013, Lehmberg served about half of a 45-day prison sentence and entered a treatment program — but ignored calls by Perry and high-profile Republicans statewide to quit.
At the jail, a video showed Lehmberg shouting orders to call the sheriff, kicking the door of her cell and sticking her tongue out at deputies videotaping her. That led to an investigation by a grand jury, which decided she should not be removed for official misconduct.
"I cannot in good conscience support continued state funding for an office with statewide jurisdiction at a time when the person charged with ultimate responsibility of that unit has lost the public's confidence," Perry said in a statement upon vetoed funding.
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