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Eversole looking over his shoulder

Harris County Commissioner Jerry Eversole says the feds are coming after him and that he expects they’ll get him.

Harris County Commissioner Jerry Eversole said Thursday that he expects to be forced from office by an FBI investigation into corruption allegations that appears to be centering on the design of his home by a prominent retired architect.

The Precinct 4 commissioner said FBI agents have interviewed many of his friends, some as recently as this week. He said he expects to be called in for questioning soon and would not be surprised to be indicted, though he insists he is innocent.

“I guarantee they can take that information that they’ve got and the friends that they’ve talked to and they can make a case on me,” said Eversole, who volunteered the update regarding the investigation when asked about recommended ethics changes at the county. “That’s why I say my days are numbered. There’s no doubt about it.”

You could save us all some time and resign now. Or fine, whenever it makes most political sense after Election Day. I’m just saying.

The commissioner’s $680,000 house in the Heights was designed by Leroy Hermes, whose former firm has been involved with county projects such as the Reliant Stadium complex and a new jail facility. The Republican commissioner said he had the home built in 2003 so he and his wife, who has cancer, would be closer to the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.

Eversole said it would be improper for him to divulge how he paid Hermes before he spoke with the FBI.

Hermes, who said he drew up the plans in his spare time at home, said Eversole insisted on paying for the design even though he did not want to charge him anything.

“I would do anything for him because he’s a good, good, decent guy,” Hermes said Thursday. “That’s how I feel about him. I don’t feel like he’s done a darn thing wrong, nor do I feel like I’ve done a darn thing wrong.”

Hermes said the pair’s friendship had nothing to do with any contracts his firm was awarded by the county over the years.

“I have never asked him for a project or his vote, ever. For anything. Never. Never. I have never done that,” he said.

See, here’s why the phrase “the appearance of impropriety” was coined. I take Leroy Hermes at his word that he and Eversole are friends and that he just wanted to help his friend out. Does he do this sort of thing for all his friends, or for anyone he thinks is “a good, good, decent guy”? Because if he doesn’t, if the only “good, good, decent guys” who are the beneficiaries of this largesse also happen to be county officials who make decisions that can directly benefit his bottom line, then it just looks bad even if it isn’t specifically a crime. And since Hermes has a bit of a track record of helping out his buddies who happen to be county officials, it makes his protestations a bit weak. The lesson we learn here is to either charge your powerful friends a fair market price and be completely up front about it from the beginning, or don’t do work for them while they’re in office. PDiddie and Prof. Taylor, who reminds us just how long Eversole has been a bad boy, have more,

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3 Comments

  1. joewhite says:

    Can we have a big party and get all of those with sweetheart housing deals to resign? I’d be happy to lose Rangel and Eversole for starters.

  2. Baby Snooks says:

    When you read his comments, it is obvious that Jerry Eversole really doesn’t see anything wrong with what he did. He just got caught. That sums up the attitude of Republicans. The law really doesn’t apply to them. Even when they get caught. It never occured to Jerry Eversole that he would get caught a second time. Not in a county where the Republicans have always protected each other. He went public with this in order to try to pressure his fellow Republicans to pressure the Justice Department. The way they work. And who knows, it may work. He may not be indicted. He may go on his merry little way. Playing Clint Eastwood. Even if he resigns, he still gets away with it. The way Chuck Rosenthal got away with it. The way so many Republicans have gotten away with it through the years.

    At least he didn’t blame in on the left-wing conspiracy the way Tommy Thomas has apparently attempted to.

    Just politics. Just a technicality. They are Republicans after all. The law really doesn’t apply to them. Particularly when they are the law.

  3. Charles Hixon says:

    By volunteering this information, Eversole is directly and pubically challenging the FBI. If the FBI’s investigation doesn’t generate a significant penalty, Eversole can put his halo back on and it will be impossible to remove regardless of his behavior. Future investigations of Eversole will be mocked.

    PDiddie’s comment about a lack of a respectable challenger is disingenuous since I have never seen Perry Dorrell’s name on the ballot against Eversole.