13 Undercover

Grand jury gets evidence on Eversole

Monday, September 08, 2008

13 Undercover has learned that a federal grand jury is now hearing evidence against the veteran county commissioner Jerry Eversole.

Last week Eversole shocked even his own lawyer when he admitted the feds could make a criminal case against him. We've learned the investigation is farther along than we thought.

We've learned among those subpoenaed to testify is Mike Surface. We have exclusive video last January of Surface in handcuffs after being indicted on corruption charges which he denies.

Surface is the former county building official who cut a huge real estate deal with county commissioners just months after leaving government. For years he was chairman of the powerful sports corporation which gave out contracts at Reliant Stadium.

Hermes Architects got virtually all of the architecture contracts and the firm and its founder Leroy Hermes were also involved in some of the real estate deals Surface had with Harris County.

During our investigation of Jerry Eversole's work habits last year, his appointment calendar showed Surface and Leroy Hermes were often part of his usual foursome.

We know the feds are investigating allegations Eversole accepted gifts from county contractors. We know his house was designed by Leroy Hermes, the founder of Hermes Architects. Neither man will say how much was paid.

Sources say the feds are also interested in donations contractors made to Eversole's charity golf tournament for leukemia. Much of the money comes from companies doing business with Harris County.

Golf tournament chairman Jon Strange says that the tourney participants are friends of Eversole's and being a friend of his doesn't help to get government contracts.

Last week Eversole told the Houston Chronicle that he wouldn't be surprised to be indicted, "that's why I say my days are numbered. There's no doubt about that."

We are told the grand jury will be hearing testimony through sometime next month. Well stay on top of it.

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