4

Jerry Eversole: Ever-Smooth County Commissioner Skates Away

^
Keep Houston Press Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

County Commissioner Jerry Eversole, who's ruled his little piece of Harris County forever, has escaped yet again from allegations of having a rather loose interpretation of ethics rules.

A federal jury could not come to a decision on whether Eversole took $100,000 in bribes from a contractor, and U.S. District Judge David Hittner has declared a mistrial, according to media tweets.

The jury had declared itself deadlocked for some time. Hittner ordered additional final arguments and gave them a last-chance charge, essentially telling them to decide one way or the other. They couldn't.

A retrial is expected as soon as next week, according to reporters. The case has dragged on forever -- Eversole himself declared two years ago he expected to be indicted.

He was recently re-elected to a new term, even with the controversy pending.

He was accused of taking more than $100,000 in gifts and work from Michael Surface, and in turn sending county contracts Surface's way.

Eversole's attorney, Rusty Hardin, says the feds were trying to criminalize a friendship.

The "friendship" argument apparently was a part of deliberations. At one point the jury sent Hittner a note asking, "Friendship or not, where do you draw the line to justify continuing to accept things of value (as an elected official) with someone who does business with the county?"

Surface faces his own trial later this year.

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.

 

Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.