The state’s lieutenant governor is talking publicly about a controversial phone call for the first time.

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst spoke at the Conservative Leadership Symposium in Georgetown Saturday. It was his first public appearance since Wednesday, when a call to the Allen Police Department was released. In the call, Dewhurst repeated his name and title, and asked to speak to the highest ranking officer after his nephew’s wife had been arrested for shoplifting. Dewhurst didn’t talk about the incident during his speech, but he had this to say to reporters afterward:

“How would you feel if you’d had two family members call, and they were so distraught that they could barely talk? And so, I simply wanted to know what the procedures were, what could be done, if anything.It turned out nothing could be done.

Because I kept visualizing this lady who I’ve known for a long time alone. I pictured my mom, who was a single mom, if that ever happened to her. And I was concerned. A very concerned uncle.

And I made it crystal clear that I didn’t expect or deserve any special treatment. But I’m the type of guy that I care for family, I care for friends, I care for the people of Texas, and I’ll fight for them. And I will — in this case, try to find out what the law is. I’ve never had this experience, I’ve never been in this situation. Never knew any of my family members who’ve ever had any trouble with the law. I didn’t know what the rules were, so I asked, found out, and the lady had to spend the night in jail.”

The phone call recording was released after a Freedom of Information request from a Dallas TV station. Allen police say Dewhurst didn’t break any laws in making the call, but his political opponents have characterized it as an abuse of power.