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#1 2012-01-24 08:42:31

From: Tanglewilde
Registered: 2004-09-08
Posts: 6,929

Harris County assistant attorney pleads for leniency for Eversole

Harris County asst. attorney - 'ethics watchdog for the county' - urged judge to exercise leniency in Jerry Eversole case - Steve Miller, Texas Watchdog

A letter to a federal judge from Harris County’s legal counsel supporting ousted Harris County Commissioner Jerry Eversole was “inappropriate” and demands a revisiting of the county’s ethics policy, Harris County Judge Ed Emmett said in an interview.

The letter from First Assistant Harris County Attorney Terry O’Rourke to U.S. District Judge David Hittner asked for leniency – a sentence of probation in a case where the penalty allows up to five years in prison - for Eversole, who was indicted in 2010 for accepting bribes to steer millions of dollars in contracts to a developer, Michael Surface.


“In my professional review of the Murworth properties … I found that the county procedures had been followed and that there was no evidence of undue or improper outside influence on the decision makers," O'Rourke wrote, contradicting the federal indictment.

“As a civil litigator with only the burden of preponderance of the evidence, I would not, and did not, recommend the filing charges of either bribery or unlawful gift to a public servant to the appropriate officials. Based on this, I recommend that you grant probation in the case.”

In other words, one of the branches of Harris County government we count on to keep an eye on OTHER public officials isn't really all that interested in doing so. That would be handy to keep in mind around election time.

This was a nice catch by Texas Watchdog yesterday morning. The Chronicle ran a similar story in today's edition.

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