Spending Campaign Cash: Former Commissioner Jerry Eversole

From the Houston Chronicle

NOTE: If you steal from a bank wouldn’t it be nice if you could use that money you stole to pay your legal bills for the crime of stealing money from a bank? Here is a quick update on former Harris County Commissioner Jerry Eversole. Lions, and tigers, and bear with me.

Back in 2009 an ethics complaint was filed with the Texas Ethics Commission against Jerry Eversole for converting campaign donations to personal use including purchases for antique books, antique western wear, golf, and a steady stream of coffee from Starbucks for a total of about $250,000. The complaint was reviewed, accepted, and an order was issued fining Eversole $75,000 and ordering him to repay his account over $40,000 from personal funds. From the Texas Ethics Commission, complaints SC-2712236 AND SC-2712237  :

After considering the seriousness of the violations described under Sections III and IV, including the nature, circumstances, and consequences of the violations, and after considering the sanction necessary to deter future violations, the commission imposes a $75,000 civil penalty, contingent upon the respondent reimbursing $41,357.10 to his political funds by July 9, 2009. Any reimbursements to political funds made pursuant to this order and agreed resolution shall be made from the respondent’s personal funds and shall be reported on Schedule G (used for reporting political expenditures from personal funds) of the respondent’s campaign finance reports and indicate that no reimbursement is intended. The respondent must provide sufficient evidence that the reimbursements have been made in accordance with this order.

Besides using his donor’s money for personal use, Eversole was under investigation by the FBI and plead guilty to lying. After his probation period was over he became a lobbyist. From the Houston Chronicle:,

Accused of taking $100,000 in cash and gifts from friend and real estate developer Mike Surface in exchange for steering county contracts and appointments to Surface and his companies, Eversole resigned his office in October 2011 and pleaded guilty to lying to FBI agents, a felony.

He is now a paid lobbyist for the Harris County Department of Education. Go figure. From the ABC13:

HOUSTON — Did you know your tax dollars will help pay the salary of a convicted felon? And it’s not just any convicted felon. Just one year after a federal plea deal forced long-time Harris County Commissioner Jerry Eversole to resign, we have news that he will again serve the Harris County Department of Education as a paid lobbyist.

Go figure. But…back to the bank. In July of 2009 Eversole had about $1.6 Million in his campaign account. Elected officials who leave office cannot convert their remaining balance to personal funds. Instead they can donate to other campaigns, charities, pay off campaign debt, or pay legal bills. This is what Eversole did.

Eversole paid $75,000 to the Ethics Commission (using his donors money. He paid his legal counsel, Rusty Hardin & Associates, over $1.2 Million for his legal bills stemming from the FBI investigation. He also paid Haynes and Boone over $92,000.

On top of pleading guilty to lying to the FBI, paying his legal bills with his donors money, using your tax money for his lobbying effort, and probably retaining his County pension and health care benefits, Eversole is seeking a presidential pardon.

#NoPlaceButTexas and Harris County.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: