Jerry Cobbs , a former high-ranking official with the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT), was acquitted by an Austin jury. He was accused of improperly securing an $11 million grant for a biotechnology firm by misleading his colleagues.
Mr. Cobbs, former chief commercialization officer of the state agency, was successfully represented by firm lawyers Rusty Hardin, Jennifer Brevorka and Andy Drumheller. Mr. Cobbs was prosecuted by the controversial Public Integrity Unit.
The Dallas Morning News reported that Mr. Hardin said in his closing “This prosecution is both immoral and illegally wrong.” “When the world comes apart 2 ½ years later,” he said, “it’s not right to look at the last man standing and blame him.”
The Texas Tribune reported that Ms. Brevorka told jurors said she was having trouble sleeping and eating because she was worried about her client’s fate. “At its core, what this case is about, we are trying a man for a mistake that he made five years ago in his job, a job that he held for six months at the time the mistake was made, and a mistake that was found out two and a half years later,” she said. “When he was asked about it, he admitted it — perhaps inartfully, perhaps he was embarrassed — but he admitted his mistake, and he never once told people a lie.”
The defense team noted Mr. Cobbs did not benefit personally from this event and his intent was always to get life-saving products to the citizens of Texas.