HOUSTON — Speaker Joe Straus and two of his top lieutenants in the Texas House, Reps. Dan Branch and Jim Pitts, sent more letters to the president of the University of Texas on behalf of applicants than anyone else whose correspondence was included in a recent inquiry into admissions favoritism.

Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa’s office recently reviewed 86 “recommendation” letters, almost all of them from lawmakers, sent to UT President Bill Powers instead of through the proper channels.

The inquiry wasn’t exhaustive — those were just the letters uncovered by UT Regent Wallace Hall. Lawmakers launched impeachment proceedings against Hall last June, just two weeks after he began investigating whether the university was giving special treatment to the friends and family of lawmakers.