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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A jury has acquitted a former executive of Texas' $3 billion cancer-fighting effort who was the only state official charged following a sweeping criminal investigation that began in 2012.
Jerry Cobbs was found not guilty Tuesday on charges that he improperly steered $11 million in taxpayer funds at the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas to a private biotech startup.
Cobbs was the first chief commercialization officer at the state agency, known as CPRIT, which debuted to national acclaim but unraveled after revelations that lucrative grants had skipped required scrutiny. Every top executive at CPRIT resigned and prominent scientists from across the country cut ties with the agency.
Lawmakers have since implemented new funding safeguards and installed new leadership.
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