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 supporters with deep sighs of relief: He was not going to prison.
The former Harris County Precinct 4 commissioner was sentenced Wednesday to three years of probation.
Eversole’s longtime friend and co-defendant, Mike Surface, also was sentenced by U.S. District Judge David Hittner to three years probation. Surface was fined $5,000.
Immediately after Hittner’s ruling, a jubilant Eversole hugged supporters and family members in the crowded courtroom.
“I’m very anxious to get the rest of my life started,” said Eversole, 68. He said dealing with the corruption trial “has been like towing an anchor.”
“We’re excited about waking up tomorrow and realizing I can go get a job – I can start doing things,” Eversole said. “I felt very useless the last few months.”
Sentencing guidelines had suggested both men faced six months of either incarceration or probation, or some combination of the two, as well as fines.
Both will be on probation for three years, during which time neither of the avid gun collectors will be able to buy or possess any of the antique Colt .45 pistols they amassed in combined collection worth tens of thousands of dollars.
Oh, the humanity. Whining works, kids. I don’t really have anything else to say about this.