Eversole Pleads Guilty To One Count

Harris County Commissioner Jerry Eversole pleaded guilty today in federal court to one count of lying to the FBI. The plea comes after a long-running corruption probe involving Eversole and his developer friend.

Eversole had been accused of accepting almost $100,000 in cash and gifts from his friend Mike Surface. The government alleged that in exchange Eversole steered county contracts to his friend’s businesses.

As part of the deal, prosecutors have dropped four other charges involving bribery, conspiracy, and filing false income tax statements.

Eversole also had to resign.

His attorney is Rusty Hardin:

“The statute that he pled guilty to involved an interview at his home about a month before Mike Surface was later to be indicted. And he was asked what things he had received of value from Mike Surface and he did not tell that agent all the things he received. And so he pled guilty today to a count that said he misled, knowingly misled an FBI agent. That’s it. Not a single thing having to do with the performance of his duties.”

Eversole appeared outside the downtown courthouse but did not speak.

He’ll be sentenced on January 4. He could get up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Hardin says people should remember that the first trial ended in a hung jury last March.

And that this plea deal removes the corruption charges related to his time in office:

“And they’re gone forever. We had a trial over them. Not one single person testified then and not one single person would have testified if we had another trial. That Jerry Eversole every did anything in his office in return for anyone, Mike Surface or anyone else.”

Surface also accepted a deal, pleading guilty to one count of filing a false income tax return. 

Chip Lewis is his attorney.

“We look very forward to finishing the process so that he and his family can get on with his life.”

County Judge Ed Emmett is expected to appoint Eversole’s replacement on Monday.