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Posts under ‘Scandalized!’

DeLay wants to sue

Whatever you say, dude. Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, reveling in victory Thursday against Texas prosecutors in a money-laundering case, said his political career is over but he’s eager to return to the courthouse. If he can find a lawyer “with a backbone,” DeLay said, he’ll considering suing the Travis County district attorney for […]

DeLay gets off

Bummer. Former U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay’s political money laundering conviction was overturned by the state’s 3rd Court of Appeals on Thursday. “Based on the totality of the evidence, we conclude that the evidence presented does not support a conclusion that DeLay committed the crimes that were charged,” the judges ruled. “The fundamental problem with the […]

Abercia takes a plea

Good. Former Harris County Precinct 1 Constable Jack Abercia told investigators he performed illegal background checks to raise money, in part, for an elevator at his home, federal prosecutors said Thursday. Abercia pleaded guilty Thursday to 11 counts of exceeding authorized computer access. The charges stemmed from illegal background checks Abercia and a top staffer […]

A constituent’s letter to Rep. Reynolds

I was forwarded the following email to Rep. Ron Reynolds: Dear Representative Reynolds, I wanted to believe you when I voted for you in 2010 despite knowing that you had been sanctioned twice by the State Bar, and subsequently had your law license suspended. You said that you had made a mistake, and would do […]

Rep. Reynolds indicted for barratry again

Sheesh. Dozens of law enforcement officers simultaneously raided multiple law offices and two chiropractic clinics Monday morning for their alleged involvement in a kickback scheme to sign up clients, according to an I-Team review of court records. In all, arrest warrants were issued for eight Houston-area lawyers, including State Representative Ron Reynolds. They are charged […]

Feds get involved in Dewhurst campaign embezzlement case

The plot thickens. The campaign manager for Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, already facing a state investigation over allegations of theft from Dewhurst’s political account, has been accused of also taking at least $1 million from the Republican’s U.S. Senate campaign last year. Federal officials have opened an investigation of their own. Kenneth “Buddy” Barfield, a […]

Dewhurst campaign aide accused of stealing contributions

Oops. Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst’s campaign manager is under criminal scrutiny, suspected of stealing at least $600,000 — and possibly more than $1 million — from the Republican’s political accounts over the past several years. Kenneth “Buddy” Barfield, a longtime GOP consultant who most recently managed Dewhurst’s failed run for the U.S. Senate, has been […]

Can you believe it’s been ten years?

Ten years (and one week) ago, four defeated Democratic candidates for the State House filed a lawsuit against the Texas Association of Business, claiming that TAB funneled illegal corporate contributions into state legislative races in the 2002 election. As you can see from what I wrote at the time – yes, I was blogging that […]

Constable Trevino’s day in court

It went about as you’d expect. Precinct 6 Constable Victor Trevino and his attorney said Tuesday they expect the longtime law enforcement officer to be cleared of any wrongdoing in connection with allegations he abused his official role and used charity donations for personal use. “On behalf of my family and myself, I just want […]

Constable Trevino indicted

Lovely. Longtime Precinct 6 Constable Victor Trevino was indicted Friday, accused of failing to report cash campaign contributions, diverting money from his youth charity for personal use and using deputies to serve eviction notices and then keeping the delivery fees. Trevino was charged in four felony indictments alleging abuse of official capacity, misapplication of fiduciary […]

Colyandro takes a plea

Missed this on Friday. It took five minutes for Capitol figure John Colyandro to end a decade-long saga that swept his boss, former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, out of Congress and politics altogether. Colyandro, the last individual with charges pending in the DeLay money-laundering case, pleaded guilty Friday to lesser charges of accepting […]

DeLay argues his case before the appeals court panel

It’s an old, familiar argument. Former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay should not go to prison on money-laundering charges because the 2002 campaign transaction involved a $190,000 check and not cash, his lawyer argued before the Third Court of Appeals Wednesday. Houston lawyer Brian Wice said the Legislature later changed the money-laundering statute to […]

More DeLay trial news

Some other action on the Tom DeLay front this week. The Tom DeLay legal marathon inched forward Wednesday on two separate fronts. John Colyandro, a DeLay co-defendant who has been under investigation since 2003, found out his trial won’t start until next year. Meanwhile, DeLay, who is fighting his conviction and three-year prison sentence, finally […]

Henson removed from DeLay appeals case

Score one for Team DeLay. Former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay has won a tactical victory with the removal of Justice Diane Henson, a Democrat, from his appeal. A motion to remove Henson was granted late Friday without comment and posted on the 3rd Court of Appeals’ website. The action might put the much-delayed […]

Former DeLay aide Ellis pleads guilty

This was out of the blue. Tom DeLay’s chief political aide, Jim Ellis, pleaded guilty Thursday to a felony charge of making an illegal campaign contribution during the 2002 election. Ellis, who headed DeLay’s Americans for a Republican Majority political action committee, was the aide who negotiated an exchange of $190,000 of corporate money for […]

CD34 candidate Villalobos busted by the feds

This is not the sort of news one wants to make as a candidate. Cameron County District Attorney Armando R. Villalobos vowed Monday to fight a federal indictment filed against him and his former law partner Eduardo “Eddie” Lucio. Villalobos, 44, who is also seeking the Democratic Party’s nomination to represent the newly created Congressional […]

Will the last judge on the Third Court of Appeals please issue a ruling on Tom DeLay?

The way this is going, we may have to start importing judges from other states. Former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay’s appeal has taken an unexpected turn as three Republican justices removed themselves from his money laundering case in just a matter of days. That leaves the fate of DeLay, a high-profile Republican who […]

Rep. Reynolds busted for barratry

Oh, for crying out loud. State Rep. Ron Reynolds, D-Missouri City, was arrested Tuesday evening [for barratry, the unlawful solicitation of clients by lawyers] and posted $5,000 bail shortly after midnight. A former associate municipal judge for the City of Houston, Reynolds, 38, is a managing partner in the Bellaire law firm of Brown, Brown […]

Berrymania

This Michael Berry thing. WTF? A police source familiar with the investigation into a hit-and-run accident linked to former city councilman and radio talk show host Michael Berry said Houston Police Chief Charles McClelland is upset with the handling of the high-profile probe and is expected to order an internal affairs inquiry. Berry has not […]

Eversole gets off easy

And so it ends. The receiving line of well-wishers and smiling faces that came to life in the usually somber federal courtroom Wednesday was 10 years in the making. Jerry Eversole, who fell from one of the highest perches in Harris County politics to land as an unemployed felon, shook hands, slapped backs and thanked […]

Eversole and Surface whine for leniency

Stop, you’re breaking my heart. Even after former Harris County Commissioner Jerry Eversole and real estate developer Michael Surface agreed to plea deals, their lawyers said prosecutors were trying to “criminalize” a 30-year friendship. In letters filed Wednesday to the judge who will decide whether they will spend six months behind bars or on probation, […]

Double dippin’

How do you know when you’re on really shaky ground when trying to justify what appears to anyone with a lick of common sense to be a craven and shameful maneuver in one’s own naked self-interest? Gov. Rick Perry has sparked a wave of criticism, and some unanswered questions, after filing paperwork this week revealing […]

Driver’s plea

So long, Joe. A humbled Rep. Joe Driver, the Garland Republican who illegally pocketed state travel money, pleaded guilty to felony abuse-of-office charges Tuesday and agreed to five years’ probation. As part of his plea agreement, Driver will get five years deferred adjudication, avoiding jail time as long as he doesn’t violate the terms of […]

“Checks aren’t cash” back before 3rd Court of Appeals

Sometimes when you least expect it, Tom DeLay pops up in the news. It would defy common sense to reverse the three-year prison sentence of former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay because his money-laundering case involved a check instead of cash, Travis County prosecutors are arguing. Their argument comes in a legal brief to […]

Surface gets probation

Mike Surface, one of the developers implicated in the Jerry Eversole case and who pleaded guilty alongside Eversole to one count of filing a false income tax return, was given two years probation for his crime. Prosecutors asked for a year of prison time, said Surface’s lawyer, Chip Lewis said. Department of Justice officials did […]

Driver to take a plea

Whoa. State Rep. Joe Driver, who candidly acknowledged pocketing taxpayer reimbursements for travel paid by his campaign, will enter a guilty plea on abuse-of-office charges, a third-degree felony, a top prosecutor said Tuesday night. “He is going to plea to the third degree felony,” said Assistant Travis County District Attorney Gregg Cox, head of the […]

Eversole pleads out

Another saga comes to an end. Harris County Commissioner Jerry Eversole pleaded guilty this morning in federal court to a felony charge of making a false statement to FBI agents. The charge carries up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. In exchange for the guilty plea and for Eversole’s announcement last week […]

Evaluating Eversole

As we prepare to say good-bye and good riddance to Jerry Eversole, the Chron takes a look at what he has achieved in office and what his legacy might be. After more than 20 years as a Harris County commissioner, Jerry Eversole is expected to leave office a felon, having announced his resignation last week […]

FBI investigation of HCC

Any time the FBI comes to town to investigate possible corruption in your business, it’s not a good thing. The FBI is investigating possible corruption at Houston Community College, an inquiry that appears to involve its former chief financial officer and a construction company founded by a friend. The college has cited an ongoing law […]

DeLay files appeal of his conviction

The man has been a boon for the defense bar, I’ll say that much for him. Tom DeLay’s appellate lawyer tapped a movie musical and Shakespeare in a wide-ranging appeal that argues the former U.S. House majority leader was wrongly convicted of conspiring to launder corporate dollars into campaign donations. In 2002, DeLay’s political committee […]

Poor Jerry

I feel so, so sorry for him. Harris County Commissioner Jerry Eversole has racked up $1.1 million in legal bills fighting a federal corruption probe in the past two years, nearly exhausting his campaign funds months before his case is to be retried. Campaign finance reports show Eversole has $51,000 left in the bank after […]

Eversole and Surface to be tried together

There will be only one more trial relating to the Jerry Eversole case. We think, anyway. Harris County Commissioner Jerry Eversole and developer Michael Surface, two longtime friends who exchanged more than $100,000 in trips and gifts, will be tried together for bribery in October, a federal judge ruled Tuesday. U.S. District Judge David Hittner […]

Trying Eversole, take 2

The two sides in County Commissioner Jerry Eversole’s trial are planning for the sequel. The biggest help to each side, seasoned trial lawyers said, are the jurors who sat through three weeks of testimony. “I relied a lot on input from the jury,” former Harris County District Attorney Johnny Holmes said of his “few” hung […]

Hung jury for Eversole

It’s the one outcome guaranteed to ensure that nobody is happy. Federal prosecutors plan to retry their corruption case against Harris County Commissioner Jerry Eversole after a judge today declared a hung jury in the three-week trial on charges that he accepted bribes to steer millions of dollars in contracts to a developer. [...] John […]