Longtime Harris County Precinct 6 Constable Victor Trevino won't face jail time but will remain a convicted felon.
Trevino, who pleaded guilty earlier this month to misapplication of fiduciary duty, a felony that could have put him behind bars for 10 years, will instead face 10 years probation, along with a $1,000 fine and 150 hours of community service, a judge ruled at his sentencing hearing Monday.
Prosecutors had claimed that Trevino siphoned cash from his well-known charity, Constable's Athletic Recreational and Education Events Inc. (CARE), to buy Lotto tickets and fund gambling trips to Louisiana casinos. Early this year, the Harris County DA's Office had offered Trevino what, to the rest of us regular non-elected folk, seemed like the deal of a lifetime: avoid four felony indictments by simply resigning and copping to the equivalent of a traffic ticket (a class C misdemeanor). Trevino, for whatever reason, rejected the deal, but then pleaded guilty to one felony count early this month after only one day of trial.
(For what it's worth, we here still wonder: if the case was so strong that prosecutors could goose Trevino into pleading guilty to a felony after one day of trial, then why would the DA's office offer the deal -- step down, slap on the wrist, walk away -- in the first place? You can read an explanation from assistant DA Bill More, who prosecuted Trevino, here.)
Even more details about the charges against Trevino came out at Monday's sentencing hearing -- remember, the state only got through opening arguments before Trevino entered his guilty plea. As the Chron reports, the DA's fraud investigator George Jordan connected cashed CARE checks to deposits made to Trevino's personal bank accounts that just so happened to coincide with casino trips and lottery ticket purchases. Jordan's analysis showed that Trevino or his wife deposited at least $124,000 in cashed CARE checks into their accounts from 2008 to 2011, according to the Chron.
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Harris County Commissioners officially accepted Trevino's resignation last week. They're expected to announce who will serve out the remaining two years of his term sometime today.