Records show that a Texas Republican state senator was taken into custody on an allegation of drunk driving on Tuesday. Charles Schwertner, who is 52 years old, was arrested by the Austin Police Department early on Tuesday morning. He is being held at the Travis County Jail.
Records show that Schwertner is accused of driving a car while drunk, which is a minor crime. Around 12:46 in the morning, cops in Austin’s Hyde Park district stopped him.
Schwertner was scheduled to chair a Senate committee meeting about Texas’ power grid and recent winter outages at 11 a.m. before being arrested, according to the Austin American-Statesman newspaper.
Schwertner is a practicing orthopedic surgeon and a loyal Republican, according to his bio on the state senate website. He represents District 5, which includes counties in central and eastern Texas.
In 2018, Schwertner was charged with emailing a graduate student at the University of Texas obscene texts and pictures of his genitalia. The student and Schwertner, a UT alumnus, are said to have met at a campus event where she expressed interest in working for the state senate, according to the officials. After sending messages on LinkedIn, the two reportedly sent each other texts on their phones.
Schwertner allegedly gave the student a picture of what seemed to be his genitalia while in the shower and the text, “I just really want to f—- you.” Officials claimed that the picture did not show his face and that the student did not reply to the message.
The Texas Tribune says that even though Schwertner didn’t help the police, a later investigation by the school found that it was “plausible” that someone else sent the texts from a program that the senator and the school could access.
Before beginning his term in the Senate in 2013, Schwertner was first elected to the Texas House in 2010.
According to his biography, “Schwertner oversees a number of crucial policy areas for the state of Texas, including insurance, electric utilities, banking, alcoholic beverage regulation, technology, and telecommunications,” as chairman of the influential Senate Committee on Business and Commerce and the Senate Committee on Constitutional Issues.
The biography noted that Schwertner is a member of the Legislative Budget Board and the Senate Committees on Education, Finance, and State Affairs.