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Jerry Eversole ethics bombshell

Friday, September 05, 2008

It's a political bombshell. Months after a 13 Undercover investigation shined the light on the spending habits of Harris County Commissioner Jerry Eversole, he goes on the record with a local paper, saying he wouldn't be surprised if he was indicted by the feds.

On Friday, we heard startling admissions from the commissioner. Eversole told the Houston Chronicle that the FBI has questioned several of his friends and -- quote -- "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."

It reads on to say, "That's why I say my days are numbered. There's no doubt about it."

An ABC13 Undercover investigation revealed that Eversole had design work done on a personal home by the founder of an architectural firm with lots of county contracts. The Harris County DA's office is already investigating Eversole's use of campaign funds.

You don't often hear a politician predict his own indictment or that his days are numbered.

Even his own lawyer, Rusty Hardin, said was taken back by Eversole's newspaper admission. It was first time the veteran county commissioner admitted what we've been telling you for months. He's one of the targets of an FBI corruption probe.

Last November, we showed you the building plans for Eversole's home in the Heights with the architect seal of Leroy Hermes, founder of an architecture firm that's gotten lots of government business. Both Eversole and Hermes say the design work was paid for, but neither has been willing to provide evidence it was.

It was clear a few months ago our ethics probe was getting to the veteran commissioner. "I have spent 17 years, going on 18 years, trying to do above board and still get nailed," he said during a commissioner's court meeting.

Eversole campaign reports show he's already used more than $40,000 in campaign funds to pay his lawyers. Rusty Hardin wouldn't talk on camera but told us there are no plans for his client to talk to the press again or to the FBI and no plans to resign, at least now.

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