Jerry Eversole, County Commissioner, Indicted By Feds

Jerry Eversole's long-awaited indictments: Today's the day, reportedly
Jerry Eversole, the longtime County Commissioner who's ruled his fiefdom with an exceedingly relaxed take on campaign-contribution laws and work ethics, has been indicted by the federal government, according to the Houston Chronicle.

A hearing in federal court is scheduled for 2 p.m., where the indictment is expected to be unsealed.

(Update: It's unsealed, and bad news for Eversole:He's charged with conspiracy, receiving a bribe and filing false tax statements in 2003 and 2004. Eversole has pleaded not guilty.)

The charges stem from his dealings with former county facilities director Mike Surface and an associate, which have been part of a City Hall bribe investigation.

Rusty Hardin, Eversole's attorney, has said his client is innocent of any charges.

Eversole has long been targeted by KTRK's Wayne Dolcefino, who once aired extensive hidden-camera footage of Eversole's leisurely work habits.

Eversole was fined $75,000 by the Texas Ethics Commission last year for spending $126,000 or more of campaign contributions on art, books, clothes and travel unrelated to his post.

"I regret that I have not been more attentive to the details of my campaign finances," Eversole said in press release when questions were first raised.

More than $200,000 in expenditures were questioned at one time or another; Texas' loopholey campaign-cash laws meant some of Eversole's spending was legal.

Update: Reaction from County Judge Ed Emmett:

Today's indictment of Commissioner Eversole presents a conflict between two very important rights -- the right of Harris County residents to have full confidence in the honest operations of their county government and the right of all Americans to be presumed innocent of any criminal charges until proven guilty. Commissioner Eversole has pleaded not guilty to these charges, and I certainly hope for a speedy completion of the judicial process.

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Richard Connelly
Contact: Richard Connelly