Saturday, September 10, 2005


By Stockton

Lawyer Is Fired After Talking About Rove

AUSTIN, Texas - A lawyer with the Texas secretary of state was fired after she spoke to a reporter about presidential adviser Karl Rove's eligibility to vote in the state.

Elizabeth Reyes, 30, said she was dismissed last week for violating the agency's media policy after she was quoted in a Sept. 3 story by The Washington Post about tax deductions on Rove's homes in Washington and Texas.

Scott Haywood, a spokesman for Texas Secretary of State Roger Williams, confirmed Reyes' firing but wouldn't discuss specifics. He had earlier told the Post that Reyes "was not authorized to speak on behalf of the agency."

The Post earlier reported that Rove inadvertently received a homestead tax deduction on his home in Washington, even though he had not been eligible for the benefit for more than three years. Rove was eligible for the deduction when he bought the home in 2001, but a change in the tax law in 2002 made the deduction available only to property owners who do not vote elsewhere. Rove is registered to vote in Texas.

The tax office admitted the mistake, saying it failed to rescind the deduction, and Rove agreed to reimburse the city an estimated $3,400 in back taxes, the Post reported.

Rove is registered to vote in Kerr County, Texas, where he and his wife own two rental homes that he claims as his residence. But two local residents told the Post they had never seen Rove there.

Press Secretary Scott McClellan was incensed about the revelations and congratulated the Texas Secretary of State for firing Ms. Reyes. "When sensitive information such as tax deductions are made public it endangers not only the individuals involved but national security as well. Mr. Rove is a vital soldier in the war against terrorism and Ms. Reyes' actions could be characterized a treasonous."

The White House has indicated it may suspend investigations into the Valerie Plame incident to concentrate on the outrageous behavior of Ms. Reyes.

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